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Re: Phytodinosauria status



In a message dated 6/6/01 6:19:09 PM EST, j_mallon@hotmail.com writes:

<< I'm just curious as to whether or not anyone still subscribes to Bakker's 
 "Phytodinosauria", as mentioned in his _Dinosaur Heresies_?  This topic 
 doesn't seem to have been brought up within the past few years or so, and as 
 I'm currently discussing the subject with a fellow dino-enthusiast, I 
 thought I might bring it to the attention of the list once again.  Bakker's 
 Phytodinosauria doesn't really seem to have caught on, but are there any 
 legit reasons for this?  Is the clade considered to be monophyletic?  Just 
 curious. >>

Most dinosaur paleontologists think Saurischia and Ornithischia are the 
fundamental dichotomy of Dinosauria, but the 17 or so characters that 
supposedly support this seem very equivocal to me. Just a little nudging of 
the cladogram would move Ornithischia into Saurischia as prosauropod 
descendants (Prosauropoda is a paraphyletic group, I think, and may number 
both ornithischians and herrerasaurians among its Late Triassic descendants) 
closely related to Massospondylidae--which makes a great deal more sense to 
me than leaving ornithischians to evolve a lot of dinosaurian features on 
their own, independently of "saurischians." Then the fundamental dichotomy of 
Dinosauria would be into Phytodinosauria (sauropods, prosauropods, 
ornithischians) and Aves (herrerasaurians, theropods, and birds). 
Phytodinosauria Bakker 1986 was earlier named Ornithischiformes by Michael 
Cooper in 1985.