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Re: Dinosaur Genera List corrections #153 (JOKE)



In a message dated 12/21/00 2:46:45 AM EST, Mickey_Mortimer@email.msn.com 
writes:

<< You exclude avialans (all closer to Neornithes than to Deinonychus)?  Hmm.
 What happens if the prevailing phylogeny is (Dromaeosauridae (Troodontidae
 (Alvarezsauridae + Aves))) (which is quite common in my analyses)?  Would
 troodontids then be excluded from your list?  And if Elzanowski is right and
 troodontids, ornithomimosaurs, segnosaurs and oviraptorosaurs are all closer
 to neornithines than dromaeosaurids, will you exclude them from your list as
 well? >>

Nope. I'll just stop excluding avialan birds and find some higher avian clade 
to exclude. In my own taxonomy, Aves extends to the base of Dinosauria and 
includes all theropods--something the rest of the world hasn't exactly 
embraced yet. Sometime around 1974 (was it really that long ago??) Thulborn 
placed a whole lot of theropods closer to modern birds than Archaeopteryx 
was, and that still makes a lot of sense to me.

I've always advocated the idea that there were lots of different kinds of 
flying birds in the later Mesozoic (e.g., ones with two-digit wings, 
three-digit wings, four-digit wings, various shapes and sizes of 
"pygostyles," various kinds of tails, various configurations of foot bones, 
and so forth). The occasional larger, flightless, cursorial forms from this 
plethora of lineages are what we see in the fossil record as the rather 
bewildering and highly convergent variety of theropods.

I can no more believe in the existence of just one species of archaeopterygid 
or confuciusornithid than I can believe in the existence of just one extant 
species of finch or thrush or grouse. We ain't seen nuthin yet.