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i'm back

The modem works again ("the signal has not been synchronous" or something), and I have got the latest 781 mails at once. The overdue answers will follow. Heartfelt congratulations to HP Dinogeorge -- your dinobirds are coming up, aren't they? -- and to some others, including my own 0.02 â worth* ;-) :
        "An interesting thing happened while testing the removal of Utahraptor to increase resolution in the dromaeosaurid tree.  In addition to some minor restructuring of non-maniraptorans, the eumaniraptoran tree was changed to support (cue drum roll) secondary flightlessness of dromaeosaurids.  The structure above Troodontidae was ((Yandangornis + Pygostylia) (Archaeopteryx (Rahonavis (Unenlagia, Microraptor, Sinornithosaurus (Bambiraptor + Dromaeosauridae sensu stricto)))))).  In this case, all of the above taxa besides Yandangornis and pygostylians are deinonychosaurs.  This has been suggested by Paul (for Archaeopteryx) and several others on the list (for Rahonavis), and is quite an intriguing possibility." (Mickey Mortimer: Details on Microraptor)
        Unlike Terry Pratchett, I'm glad to live in interesting times. =8-)
*I'm just publishing a paper in the Dinosaur Society Quarterly Review which describes my opinions on the origin of birds, among other things that I fail to find bird synapomorphies in Archaeopteryx. More about that, if someone wishes, when it's published (should already have happened, AFAIK).