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Re: Being "scientific" about segnosaurs



Ken Kinman wrote-

> However, the notion that "enigmosaurs"
> are a holophyletic is not nearly as strongly supported, and a paraphyletic
> "enigmosauria" has not been falsified even by Mickey Mortimer.
>      Once he finishes his new analysis a month or two down the line, I
will
> certainly be paying close attention to those results.  I trust
> Mickey's analytical approach a great deal, and he may well convince me to
> re-admit the segnosaurs who are now "pounding at the door".  But I will
also
> be reviewing Sereno's reasons for excluding them from Maniraptora (I am
> certainly not alone in questioning the holophyly of "enigmosauria").

I'm busy making a post on enigmosaurian synapomorphies, but in the
meantime....
While I'm flattered you trust my analyses so much Ken, there are other
currently published and unpublished analyses by people _I_ trust that _do_
support Enigmosauria.  Such examples include Holtz's 2000 work and
unpublished SVP tree, Rauhut's unpublished thesis, the AMNH team's analyses
(Norell et al. 2001, Hwang et al. at SVP) and Longrich's SVP analysis.
While there are errors in the data matrices I've examined, I'm sure there
are plenty in mine too.  These analyses are all large (Holtz 642 for all
theropods, Longrich 250+, AMNH 205, Rauhut 224) and contain lots of taxa,
with Holtz's and the AMNH team's excelling in the use of genus level OTU's.
While I'm sure I'll trust my analysis _more_ than any of them (it's my
analysis after all), there's very few reasons you should (the only one I can
think of being that mine includes more taxa).  The authors all have good
methodologies and (unlike me, with small exceptions) have actually looked at
specimens firsthand and have access to more unpublished data than I do.
While not as important as Tracy would have you believe, seeing the specimens
has definite advantages and should make you trust their analyses more than
mine if anything.  So if you're going to be convinced in letting segnosaurs
back into the oviraptorosaur + paravian clade by my analysis, I don't see
why you wouldn't be by their analyses.

Mickey Mortimer