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Re: Microvenatoridae?

Jaime Headden wrote-

> *Microvenator*
> lacks a few key characters and possesses a few more, with several
> features that make it plesiomorphic -- it's a pretty basal animal in
> this group. *Caudipteryx* appears to be even more basal, but still, we
> cannot know their relative positions to each other without them _both_
> being explicitly tested together. This has not been done, and the
> available literature on *Caudipteryx* is not sufficient to appraise an
> analysis, at least for those who've not seen the specimens themselves,
> like me, where some skull and vertebral features have not been
> elaborated upon. Plus, I don't agree that the preserved evidence shows
> pelvic orientation as has been suggested by some authors, and so the
> evidence needs to be reevaluated.

I'm also not certain about the pelvic orientation, but it makes more sense
in my phylogeny if Caudipteryx was propubic, like Zhou and Wang (2000)
suggest.  Caudipteryx and Microvenator have been included together in at
least two analyses, mine and Tom Holtz's.  These are both unpublished, but
certainly exist.  As for the potentially insufficient descriptions, I have
seen the two original specimens of Caudipteryx firsthand at the RTMP and I'm
fairly certain Tom has studied them personally as well.  Both Tom and I
agree that Microvenator is closer to oviraptorosaurs than to segnosaurs, but
he places Caudipteryx outside the segnosaur-oviraptorosaur group, while I
think it is the sister group to other oviraptorosaurs.

Mickey Mortimer