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Re: What is biomechanics? (or, The Truth About Flying Snakes - Was: Re: science and philosophy)

On Saturday, September 21, 2002, at 12:52 AM, Colin McHenry wrote:

To me, as a clado-skeptic, the confusion about the origin of birds strongly
supports the contention that cladistics on its own can tell you very little
of consequence. If cladistics was the be-all-and-end-all of phylogenetic
analysis then why hasn't there been a definitive answer to the question of
what animals birds evolved from. It's not as if you're short of fossils, is

I'm sorry, I don't think there is "confusion" among cladists that you refer to. In fact there is remarkable consistency - Dromaeosaurs and Troodontids are the closest to birds.

The disagreement (confusion, if you prefer) is coming from those not using cladistic analysis. Besides, it is highly unlikely that we have - or ever will - find the actual ancestor of the Eumaniraptora. Eumaniraptoran fossils from the Late Jurassic are, sadly, very rare indeed.

John Conway, Palaeoartist

"All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde

Systematic ramblings: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/
Palaeoart: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/_palaeoart.html