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RE: Aves and Mononykus

Tom Holtz wrote:

Chiappe's latest analyses also find Alvarezsauridae as the sister taxon to
Aves, not within Aves.  Although the analyses themselves are not yet
publised (they are in press), the results are found in the Chiappe et al.'s
paper on confuciusornithids (Bull. AMNH 242).

I wonder - do these analyses examine the relationships _within_ the Alvarezsauridae? I remember hearing a few informal comments over whether _Alvarezsaurus_ and the mononykines (_Mononykus_, _Shuvuuia_, _Parvicursor_) really comprise a monophyletic group. The analyses given in the proceedings of the Gondwana Symposium do support a monophyletic Alvarezsauridae, but do other analyses come to the same conclusion?

As for _Patagonykus_ - there were concerns over whether the type specimen is monophyletic - i.e. it could be a jumble of more than one taxon. (For both questions, I don't mean to sound like I'm contradicting the results of the analyses, I'm just curious.)

I also have the Australian genus _Rapator_ pegged as a likely alvarezsaurid (the "metacarpal" is probably the claw-bearing manual phalanx). However, the single theropod caudal vertebra named _Walgettosuchus_ found nearby (and which has sometimes been referred to _Rapator), does not look like it belongs to an alvarezsaurid. It's quite unremarkable - could almost be anything.


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