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Megalancosaurus, Longisquama & other oddballs



Renesto and Tom,
I am certainly looking forward to Merck's phylogenetic analysis (will it be out by this summer??).
It seems like the whole basal Archosauromorph phylogeny is still a huge controversial mess. Even what to include in Prolacertiformes seems far from settled. Whether to include Megalancosaurus or not, and some don't even include Protorosaurus any more (so whether Protorosauria and Prolacertiformes are synonymous or independent groups is still very much up in the air).
Until there is a more settled phylogeny, it seems like speculations on the evolution of arboreality, gliding, feathers (or anything else) in archosauromorphs cannot be tested very effectively. Am I being overly pessimistic?
----Ken
********************************************************
From: Renesto Silvio <renesto@mailserver.unimi.it>
Reply-To: renesto@mailserver.unimi.it
To: scott_hartman@hotmail.com
CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re:  Longisquama update (was: Archosaurs of a feather)
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 10:15:01 +0100

At 19.46 09/03/01, you wrote:
> I don't want to disparage one of the more distinguished journals of our era, but I'm pretty aghast that the Longisquama paper was accepted for publication.



Longisquama intrigues many. Among the most recent issues on this beastie:

1)  David Peters in his paper on prolacertiform phylogenesis,  considers it
as an advanced prolacertiform close to pterosaurs.

2) M. Benton, D. Unwin and A. Alifanov in the recent book on russian
reptiles  even doubt it is an archosaur.

3) Just a  ***coincidence***: one of the three main characters quoted by
these authors as diagnostic for Longisquama (elongate manus digit four
equivalent in length to the humerus) is present also in the (still unnamed)
drepanosaurid  figured in my 2000 paper on Megalancosaurus.
Absolutely no doubt that they are quite different beasts , but it is
intriguing as well (at least to me).

                              Silvio Renesto

"Before being enlightened,   hard work; after enlightenment, hard work"
(Guo Yunshen).

Dr. Silvio Renesto
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra
Università degli Studi di Milano
via Mangiagalli 34
I 20133 Milano
Italy

phone +39-0223698232
fax  +39-02-70638261

e-mail:    renesto@mailserver.unimi.it

or/and Silvio.Renesto@unimi.it
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