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RE: coelurosaurs and phylogeny type stuff
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of
> Nick Longrich
Lots of good points, Nick!
> Harass the nearest museum until they let
> you start looking at real specimens; nothing beats seeing real bone
> to understand the difficulty and ambiguity of phylogenetics.
> Differences others have overlooked will appear; supposed differences
> will often turn out to be problem of interpretation, or just
> downright inaccurate. Some of the stupid errors I see in other
> people's matrices make me want to scream- and anyone who looks at my
> matrix with some knowledge of the material will likely feel the same.
Well said (and I know the feeling).
> Also, Russell says there's one
> Dromiceiomimus out there which apparently lacks the third metatarsal
> proximally (or is the darn thing a Dromiceiomimus then?), so I try to
> be careful about putting too much weight on its form.
Interesting (and not at all surprising from a functional standpoint).
> incidentally- Patagonykus may not be too big to be a
> myrmecophage. Consider that aardvarks get over 100 lbs. Giant
> armadillos, sloth bears, giant anteaters, pangolins and aardwolves
> are all relatively large. In fact, the average myrmecophage is quite
> large when you consider that the majority of mammals are tiny mouse-
> and rat-sized things.
In fact, if you are a nest-raiding myrmecophage, there might well be a
selective advantage (namely the mechanical strength to rip open nests) to
being a 10-50 kg beastie.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: email@example.com
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796
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