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Two "new" papers and a query for Thomas Holtz

G.J. Dyke, R.W. Dortangs, J.W. Jagt, E.W. Mulder, Anne
S. Schulpe, L.M. Chiappe, 2002. Europe's last Mesozoic
bird. Naturwissenschaften 89(9):408-411

Fritz Geiser, Nicola Goodship, C.P. Pavey, 2002. Was
basking important in the evolution of mammalian
endothermy? Naturwissenschaften 89(9):412-414

My query to Tom Holtz: now that the discussion re: the
Sylvia Czerkas volume, Feathered dinosaurs and the
origin of flight, has "died down", have you given
thought to "splicing together", so to speak, your
messages on the taxa? I am speaking especially of 10
September, 11 September, 12 September which, taken
together, are guides to what one is seeing (setting
aside Gregory Paul's interpolative manifesto of 12
September).  Czerkas/Chongxi Yuan insist -- wrongly, I
believe -- that Scansoriopteryx (their osteological
descriptions are presumably thorough)is "a saurischian
of 'pre-theropod' status, instead of a true theropod"
based solely on the morphology of digit III of the
hand. In all other respects, Scansoriopteryx is a
theropod, it would seem. The Czerkas compendium is an
important addition to the literature, but marred by
lack of thorough data matrix.

I believe some dromaeosaurs could fly/glide, with
variable modifications of the arms and hands, and this
does not make them non-theropods (after all, Aves is a
converted clade name within Theropoda)...and I believe
some theropods could climb/run up a tree and come back
down (cf. Ken Dial, the hoatzin, et al.).Thus, their
comments that most paleontologists believe theropods
to be "strictly terrestrial" is puzzling: there are
theropods in the air, on the ground, even preferring
aquatic habitats.

In GAIA # 15, you elaborate a data matrix. Have you
yet examined each of the Czerkas taxa, ascertained
their characters, and "fed" them into your data
If so, would you post these, using GAIA as a template
(i.e., rather than recapitulating all of the analyses
of GAIA, you could present the characters of each
taxon, referring the reader to the applicable GAIA pages).

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