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Parrots, was RE: (matrilineal dinosaurs, K parrot)
Let's face facts.
Gerald Mayr & Michael Daniels described _Psittacopes lepidus_* from an
allmost complete, articulated skeleton from the eocene of Messel. It was a
parrot that did not have a "parrot-like"beak.
*Gerald Mayr & Michael Daniels, 1998
Eocene Parrots from Messel (Hessen, Germany) and the London Clay of
Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex, England)
Senckenbergiana Lethaea 78: 157-177
Stidham** came up with his parrot just after the Mayr & Daniels publication.
He has a beak, that has characters, the same as in modern parrots.
There are some taxonomists (including me) who think it's easy to devide the
modern (crown group) parrots into 3 families: Loriidae, Cacatuidae and
Psittacidae (not phylogenetic, just easy, worth a lot, you can do that with
Linneaus!). As I have learned from Stidham, he wants to assign his beak to
Loriidae. Well that's nice, it's based only on nuticient channals. If
Parrots didn't have a parrot-like beak in the eocene, how could they have
them in the cretaceous (if they were there at all)?
**Thomas A. Stidham, 1998
A Lower Jaw from a Cretaceous Parrot
Nature 396: 29-30
Gareth J. Dyke & Gerald Mayr, 1999
Did Parrots Exist in the Cretaceous Period
Nature 399: 317-318
**Thomas A. Stidham, 1999
Reply to Dyke & Mayr
Nature 399: 318
The story does not end here. There was another parrot described by Dyke and
Cooper a year later, from the eocene of England, yes the one with the
niciest name, it seems to be a composite.
(The parrot Dyke and Cooper*** described from the Naze London Clay was
wrongly identified. This specimen's remains, of which I have a considerable
number of similar examples in extensive fossils, shows it to be a composite
and certainly nothing to do with Psittacidae. Dyke acknowleges this now,
but the creature, with its 'specific' name, is sure to cause ongoing
confusion, as did Harrison's 'Earliest Parrot' (Palaeopsitticus), not one
either.) (Daniels, personal communication, 2000).
***Gareth J. Dyke & J. H. Cooper, 2000
A New Psittaciform Bird from the London Clay (Lower Eocene) of England
Palaeontology 43: 271-285 (Pulchapollia gracilis Dyke & Cooper, 2000.)
If Psittacopes is a Parrot, then I think Stidham is wrong in his
identification, parrots didn't have a parrot-like beak by that time.
It's also possible Gerald Mayr is wrong, and he misidentified his parrot
from Messel that had a beak like a Coliidae.
I don't believe Gerald Mayr was wrong, and I think you hepetologists can
come up with enough species that can fit Stidham's identification.
If indeed his specimen is a Loriid, we must think again on Psittaciformes,
and Aves as all.
P.S. Let's call Aves (sensu Linnaeus) just birds, lets call all the rest
(sensu everybody) just otherwise, life is so short, time is so limited, if
you want to call it different, please give the author, the year, the tittle
of his publication and the magazine in which he/she proposed it. So simply:
just name the beast by its name! It saves so much time!
At 23:35 20-12-2001 +0100, you wrote:
>> <In many species, especially predatory ones AFAIK, the females are
>> I would like to see evidence for this assumption. [...] skeleton [...]
>I think it was clear enough that I was referring to "extant avialian
>theropods", e. g. various hawks, where this is an observable fact. Anyway,
>thanks for your data.
>> Stidham's reply is based on the gross anatomy of the jaw, which locates
>the jaw as a loriid
>Loriid? So we have a nomenclatural problem in addition? Dyke & Mayr write
>"the single recent family within the order, the Psittacidae" (which alone
>has the 'parrot-like' beak). Now that you say it, Stidham writes "crown
>group parrots" and "crown-group parrots".
>> Dyke and Mayr dissagree not so much on morphological as on distributional
>IMHO on a combination of these -- it is too derived for what they (and I)
>would expect of a K parrot.
>> Stidham has replied on this in length on list.
>Ah! I'll have a look.
>> <Is there anything new on this subject? Is the oviraptoroid (Sereno for
>Caenagnathoidea + its
>> stem) character still valid?>
>> Oviraptoroidea is not considered a valid taxon. It was named before the
>ICZN third edition; ICZN
>> 2nd ed. dictates that a name based on any family name must be based as its
>eponym on the oldest
>> family included. That is Caenagnathoidea. This was changed in Sereno, 2000
>> Therefore, unless there is a way to reuse this, it is a subjective junior
>> of Caenagnathoidea.
>> As for the shape of the jaw being indicative of caenagnathids, this is
>> also of many other birds. The implication of a caenagnathid affinity is
>suggested nearly solely on
>Sure, but I was asking about the "internal pillar of bone supporting a
>midline ridge [...] present in oviraptoroids^2" but not the fossil in
>> Therefore, Stadham's _tentative_ (in his own
>> words) referral is logical. As said in his own reply to Dyke and Mayr.
>As I wrote, it _is_ most parsimonious, but IMHO this is a case where
>parsimony probably meets its borders.
>> <Ref. 2 is the description of *Caenagnathasia* which I haven't had time to
>copy so far:>
>> *Caenagnathasia* does not resemble this jaw in any way.
>Nobody said it does, its description is simply the ref for the character
>> It is much more distinct in the nearly
>> dentigenous nature of the jaw as to be as far from an avian type as can
>"Nearly dentigerous"? Does it "nearly have teeth", or am I misinterpreting a
>possible typo of yours? ~:-|