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Recoded Aves eliminates polyphyly



Dear All,
I accept Mickey Mortimer's arguments that Confuciusornithids and Oviraptorids are closely related. However, I have obviously come to a very different conclusion how such a clade fits into the avian tree.
It appears that "Enigmosauria" is not even paraphyletic, but polyphyletic. The many researchers who are getting a holo(mono)phyletic "enigmosaur" grouping appear to be relying on characters which are subject to functional convergences (mainly in the vertebrae and jaws).
It is my conclusion that strict parsimony has led them astray, and that they will not discover more accurate avian phylogenetic topologies without some form of character weighting (as many of the characters they are using are non-independent).
My refined (simplified) definition of Aves is now: All theropods possessing (1) a convex coracoid glenoid, and (2) an enlarged fused "semilunate" in adults. Note: the first is reversed in at least one genus (Phasianus), and the distinctive shape of the second is partially reversed in Protarcheopteryx and Caudipteryx. Like Tom says, reversals happen, but these appear to be very rare reversals (and thus remain highly diagnostic).
The contents of my classification (see below) remain the same, but I obviously had to move caenagnathiforms and mononykiforms down below Archaeopteryidae (and do some recoding). I doubt that Alvarezsaurus will be put back in (but it is so scrappy, who knows). Many of the character distributions are beginning to make a whole lot more sense.
------ Cheers, Ken Kinman
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CLASS AVEA (AVES)
 1  Plesion Troodontidae
 ?  Pl. Bagaraatan
 2  Archaeopterygiformes
           1  Dromaeosauridae
          B  "utahraptorid" family
           2  Pl. Pyroraptor
           3  Pl. Bambiraptor
           B  Velociraptoridae
           4  Pl. Sinornithosaurus
           ?  Pl. Unenlagia
           5  Pl. Microraptor
           6  Pl. Rahonavis
           7  Archaeopterygidae
          8  {{expanded "Metornithes"}}
_1_ Yandangornithiformes
 ?  Pl. Sapeornis
 2  Mononykiformes Kinman, 1994
           1  Patagonykidae
           2  Parvicursoridae
          3  Mononykidae
 3  Avimimiformes
 4  Pl. Protarcheopteryx
 5  Pl. Caudipteryx
 B  Pl. Nomingia
  6  Caenagnathiformes Cracraft, 1971
          1  Pl. Microvenator
          2  Caenagnathidae
          3  Oviraptoridae
          4  Confuciusornithidae
  ?  Pl. Protopteryx
  7  Longipterygiformes
  8  Pl. Jibeina
  ?  Pl. Hulsanpes
  9  Pl. Boluochia
  B  Iberomesornithiformes
10  Enantiornithiformes
 B  Gobipterygiformes
11  Plesion Vorona
12  Patagopterygiformes
 ?  Pl. Yanornis
13  Chaoyangiiformes
14  Pl. Apsaravis
 15  Hesperornithiformes
 16  Ambiortiformes
 17  Ichthyornithiformes
 18  Pl. Limenavis
 19  Lithornithiformes
20  Tinamiformes
_a_ Struthioniformes
21  Galliformes
 B  Anseriformes
22  .... other neognath orders
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