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RE: FEATHERS FOR T-REX?




I think Coelurus (or even Ornitholestes) are more likely "maniraptoriforms" than Sinosauropteryx. As for Plesion Alvarezsaurus, it too seems to be in this same early maniraptoriform part of the tree (and probably therizinosaurs as well, although many people seem to have difficulty accepting that possibility).
Order Mononykiformes on the other hand is right where I put them eight years ago, splitting off between Archaeopterygiformes and Iberomesornithiformes. The only difference is that there are a lot of other new clades in there as well. It is astounding how much new diversity has been discovered in just that small part of the tree in just 8-9 years (confuciusornithids, Protopteryx, Longipterygids, Jibeina, Hulsanpes, even if you don't yet believe all of those "oviraptorosaurs" go in there as well).
In any case, if you want to group Alvarezsaurus and mononykiforms together, it would be better to call them alvarezsaurians. Putting them all into one alvarezsaurid family was a mistake, and that is a bad habit that should probably be broken as soon as possible. And it will help cushion the shock if Mickey's analysis demonstrates the non-holophyly of "Alvarezsauria".
I just read Brian's (philidor's) post, and I think people should simply stop using the taxon name Arctometatarsalia, along with a few other names (like Carnosauria). Almost all groups with arctometatarsalian feet (arctomets, subarctomets, hyperarctomets) are not members of Arctometatarsalia, and that seems rather senseless. It would be like keeping "Vermes" around for just the earthworms (if someone had anchored Vermes on an earthworm genus).
--------- Ken




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