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RE: Phytodinosauria status
I don't think anything in nature is troubling. Only the effect it has on us
people may be troubling. What could be troubling about the possibility of
seeing the evolutionary connections better?
OTOH, I think the hope of making all those connections, even within as small
a group as ornithischians, is a pipe dream, even using cladistics. By the
time we work everything out, we will see that we can make unquestioned
connections in only a very few cases, most of which could be made without
cladistics. At that point, we will be left essentially with what we started
with, except for a lot more scientific literature.
But, at least we tried.
I must be in a bad mood again.
From: Ken Kinman [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2001 11:44 PM
Subject: Re: Phytodinosauria status
I was just looking at the 10 skeletal "innovations" which Sereno 1999
listed for ornithischians, and sure enough no. 10 is the pendant fourth
The first five deal with the jaw (and plant chewing) so could have
arisen more than once. I also wonder how many times the predentary bone may
have arisen, given its presence in at least one Cretaceous bird (EGAD!!!).
Ornithischian phylogeny seems a whole look shakier than ever imagined,
and a paraphyletic (or even a polyphyletic) Thyreophora seems a real
-----This is very troubling, Ken