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Re: Archeopteryx: bird/not Aves
Where do Troodontids fit into Paul's proposed scheme? This proposal does
make sense to some degree (vestigial semi-lunate carpal and sternal carina,
and it takes care of that whole temporal problem). What does he say about
the opisthopubic condition (pubic "boot" not pointing backwards as far as in
Archaeopteryx), and the elongate tail of Dromaeosauridae?
Betty Cunningham wrote:
> OK ...bare with me. This is, admittedly, a wierd idea.
> So during the SVP bird-dino symposium section we were seeing a variety
> of takes on that particularily exciting branch of Dinosauria.
> And it comes back all these new dino-bird finds went into Aves above
> Archeopteryx or went into a different branch near Aves apart from
> All on the basis of Archie's characteristics as THE basal Aves.
> Greg Paul in his talk used what I consider an excellent term to describe
> "the mosaic radiation" of the mess of bird-dinos we are only know
> becoming aware of. It's starting to look like the mess we see in hominid
> species or horses even.
> Greg Paul placed Archie below Velociraptor, primairly due to the
> secondary flightless characteristics he has found in dromosaurids. He
> made a dang good arguement for this placement and I agree that Archie
> belongs in this position below dromosaurids, however I began to wonder
> about the placement of Archie as Aves.
> Humans have a mental block in that to us Aves equals Bird. Many refuse
> to regard anything other than Aves on up as a bird. (sound familiar?)
> But 'bird' aint a terribly scientific word for a species. It's about as
> useful a term as 'fish' or 'monkey' to nail down a specific species.
> This whole 'mosaic radiation' of the dinosaurs would be BIRDS to anyone
> not looking at the modern definition (relationship to Aves) of the dang
> I reasoned that not only will we eventually find that Archie probably
> does not equal Aves BUT also that Aves does not equal the first volant
> species in this mosaic radiation of bird-dinos. Greg is perfectly
> correct that Archie is related to dromosaurids AND that dromosaurids are
> secondarily flightless AND that they are all birds.
> And though Aves are part of the set of birds, birds are not exclusive to
> the set of Aves.
> After all these new finds has Archie's position as basal Aves been
> re-examined? I asked this at dinner after Ruben's 45-minutes of
> 15-minutes-of-fame to several people (DinoGeorge, Luis, and Greg Paul
> included). 150 years ago Archie was placed in this basal Aves position,
> but now we find such things as Confuciournis, who makes a better Aves
> than Archie does. Hell, Confuciornis has a pegostyle.
> What would it take in terms of definitions, and stepping away from
> tradition entirely, to have Archeopteryx removed from the definition of
> -Betty Cunningham
> (apologies for the gross mis-use of non-cladistic terms. I don't 'think'
> in cladistics yet)
> Flying Goat Graphics
> (Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)