David Marjanovic wrote-
>> Class Aves
>> Order and family indet.
> Why "indet." and not "unnecessary"? :-P
Because every Mesozoic bird MUST be assigned to an order and monogeneric family. Haven't you ever heard of the following?-
Gobipterygiformes Elzanowski 1974
Gobipterygidae Elzanowski 1974
Alexornithiformes Brodkorb 1976
Alexornithidae Brodkorb 1976
Enantiornithiformes Martin 1983
Enantiornithidae Nessov and Borkin 1983
Zhyraornithidae Nessov 1984
Avisauridae Brett-Surman and Paul 1985
Cathayornithiformes Zhou, Jin and Zhang 1992
Cathayornithidae Zhou, Jin and Zhang 1992
Iberomesornithiformes Sanz and Bonaparte 1992
Iberomesornithidae Sanz and Bonaparte 1992
Zhyraornithi Nessov 1992
Kuszholiidae Nessov 1992
Confuciusornithiformes Hou et al., 1995
Confuciusornithidae Hou et al., 1995
Concornithidae Kurochkin 1996
Euornithiformes Kurochkin 1996
Cuspirostrisornithidae Hou 1997
Sinornithiformes Hou 1997
Sinornithidae Hou 1997
Eoenantiornithiformes Hou, Martin, Zhou and Feduccia 1999
Eoenantiornithidae Hou, Martin, Zhou and Feduccia 1999
Longipterygiformes Zhang, Zhou, Hou and Gu 2001
Longipterygidae Zhang, Zhou, Hou and Gu 2001
Not to mention the euornithines.... ;-)
>> a fibula reaching the distal end of the tarsal joint,
> Unlike Avimimus, apparently Yandangornis and Pygostylia. Teaches one to be careful when
> assuming synapomorphies instead of convergences (Holtz mantra number...).
Yeah, and unlike troodontids, mononykines and Rahonavis too.
>> [...] the presence of a fifth metatarsal.
> Like Avimimus, apparently unlike Yandangornis.
Even confuciusornithids and Protopteryx still have metatarsal V though.
> Heterocoelous? I thought that appeared much later? This couldn't bring Protoavis back into
> the bird family tree, could it?
Sapeornis probably has the same sort of semi-heterocoelous centra Confuciusornis and the Spanish nestling do- heterocoelous on the front articular surface only.
>> the presence of a pygostyle,
> As expected. Phew ;-)
Only a tiny one though. Five or so vertebrae incorporated.
>> a fused carpometacarpus,
> So that evolved 3 times on the whole?
Actually, the semilunate carpal is just fused to metacarpals II and III, as in Confuciusornis. The amount of fusion in basal birds is quite variable, with the holotype of Sinornis having unfused metacarpi for instance (though the referred specimen [holotype of Cathayornis yandica] has a fused carpometacarpus, suggesting individual or ontogenetic variation).
Mike Keesey wrote-
> I thought "Proornis" was a confuciusornithid (and hence more derived than
All my idea. See http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/2001May/msg00859.html . Someone had to write something about it. The thing's been sitting in Korea for years now...