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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
From: Renesto Silvio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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).
"Before being enlightened, hard work; after enlightenment, hard work"
Dr. Silvio Renesto
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra
Università degli Studi di Milano
via Mangiagalli 34
I 20133 Milano
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