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Re: WYLEYIA A DROMAEOSAUR?



Fred Ruhe wrote-

> Why bother, Wyleyia valdensis Harrison & Walker, 1973. is described from a
> worn humerus, not identifilable, there are as many opinions as there are
> there are scientists, I have it listed as "Aves, Sauriurae,
Eneatiornithes,
> Alexornithiformes, enantiornithdae", for what it's worth. It had better
been
> left were it was, in the early cretaceous rocks of England. I don't know
why
> Collin Harrison and Cyril Walker had the urge to describe this humerus, as
> it is undiagnostic. My opinion is simple, it should be removed from any
list
> (except, of course, Amniota Incertae Sedis).

I completely disagree.  It is a very important specimen, as Wealden
coelurosaurs are extremely rare.  Any specimen that furthers our knowledge
of taxa is very important to the final goal of understanding everything
about our universe with the data we have available.  If it is an
enantiornithine, it would be the first discovery of that group in England.
Have you actually compared the humerus of Wyleyia to Neuquenornis, Concornis
or the many Chinese enantiornithines?  Can you say there are absolutely zero
ways in which it can be distinguished from those and other avian taxa?  I am
sick of people declaring a taxon indeterminate just because they don't have
the time or energy to bother comparing it to other specimens in detail.
Look at The Dinosauria for instance, along with Wyleyia, Laevisuchus is
listed as being a nomen dubium.  But when somebody (Novas and Bandyopadhyay
in this case) actually bothered to look at the specimen, they found it was
diagnostic.  Don't assume a taxon is undiagnostic just because it was based
on a single bone.  If you do a little comparative morphology, you'll often
be surprised.

Mickey Mortimer