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Re: Dinosaur Genera List corrections #153 (serious)



> > 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'm all for secondarily flightless maniraptorans, but isn't Aves is
defined
> as the most recent common ancestor of Archaeopteryx and neornithines?

Usually this definition is used. I hope it will not be fixed under
PhyloCode...

> I think flight first evolving in eumaniraptorans or maniraptorans is
probable,

So do I (but maybe for different reasons: it is much more parsimonious than
two separate origins of flight in *Archaeopteryx* and Pygostylia).

> but I still think Archaeopteryx is a eumaniraptoran (descedant of the MRCA
> of Deinonychus and neornithines).

So do I. There's no way to explain away the (*Archaeopteryx* +
Dromaeosauridae)-synapomorphies, most or all of which are listed in
http://dinosauria.com/jdp/archie/dromey.htm (which has been copied from this
list in 1996).

> I have the Thulborn paper (1984).

Hey, great!
AFAIK all purported troodontid furculae have so far turned out to be fused
gastralia, right?

> Far from supporting a
> comparatively basal position for Archaeopteryx, when updated, his matrix
> actually finds that Archaeopteryx is closest to the ornithothoracines.
> Interesting what turns up when older studies are re-examined.

There should be more re-examinations of this sort... This is actually a way
to answer certain "what-if" questions, such as "What if all those Liaoning
theropods and all those wishbones and stuff had been found/recognised
earlier, and the 8 specimens of *Archaeopteryx* were discovered now?"

> > We ain't seen nuthin yet.
>
> Here I wholeheartedly concur. :-)

Stereotype comment: So do I. This will be true for decades to come, maybe
forever.