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Re: paraphyletic Dromaeosauridae (Variraptor)

On Sun, 20 Jan 2002 02:02:42  
 Ken Kinman wrote:
>Dear All,
>      Decided that perhaps Variraptor (and Pyroraptor?) might belong with 
>the "utahraptorines", or maybe even slightly more primitive (as show below).

Be careful.  There is nothing to suggest that _Variraptor_ is even still valid. 
 Allain and Taquet (2000) (maybe HP Allain will enlighten us further) sunk this 
genus as a nomen dubium in their paper on the French dromaeosaurid 
_Pyroraptor_.  IIRC, they pointed out that the holotype of _Variraptor_ 
possessed no truly diagnostic features, and that the majority of the original 
_Variraptor_ diagnosis was based on a vertebra found quite some ways from the 
type specimen (and at one point referred to, in a previous paper, as 
Dromaeosauridae indet.)  

_Pyroraptor_, on the other hand, is much stronger taxonomically speaking.  It 
has been suggested that the _Variraptor_ material may represent a _Pyroraptor_ 
individual, although this likely won't be able to be determined due to the poor 
quality of the material.

Anyway, back to watching football.


>      Coded the main dromaeosaurids (sensu stricto) together in one clade 
>(clade 3A-3B), although my intuition is that dromaeosaurines are more 
>primitive than velociraptorines (as I coded it earlier).
>     And moved the problematic Bambiraptor up closer to them.  Think I'll 
>mull over this topology for a while:
>   1  Variraptor (and Pyroraptor?)
>   2  Achillobator
>   B  Utahraptor
>   3  Dromaeosaurinae
>   B  Velociraptorinae
>   ?  Bambiraptor
>   4  Sinornithosaurus
>   5  Microraptor
>   6  Unenlagia
>   7  Rahonavis
>   8  {{AVES}}

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