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Re: Therizinosauroid apomorphies
Good list Nick, but I have a few observations-
> -dorsoventrally expanded, laterally directed anterior iliac blade
> (nanshiungosaurus, segnosaurus)
absent in Beipiaosaurus
> -edentulous dentary tip (Erlikosaurus, Segnosaurus)
absent in Alxasaurus (I'm unsure of the condition in Beipiaosaurus)
> -prominent rugosity just dorsal to the posterior tip of the iliac
> blade (Segnosaurus, Alxasaurus)
not evident in Beipiaosaurus
> I seem to recall that there is a partial skull for Segnosaurus, showing
> same inflated basisphenoid of Erlikosaurus.
Unless this is unpublished, I believe you're mistaken. If you have the
reference though, I'd love to hear about it.
> So even if the apomorphy list isn't overwhelming by itself due to
> its spottiness, the rest of the anatomy is shoving them into Maniraptora
> and in particular towards Oviraptorosauria- largely confined to the same
> branch of the tree, they pretty much have nowhere to go except with each
> other. At least that is how I interpret it.
I completely agree. Despite the fragmentary nature of Beipiaosaurus, the
therizinosaurs are obviously monophyletic.