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Re: neoflightless dinosaurs

Greg Paul wrote:
you know, there are vast numbers of new dinosaurs that I hardly know
the names for

Ugh... yes, there are sooo many and I cannot even begin to recall them all!

Caudipteryx (with its small, symmetrical hand feathers) especially is
in no regard anatomically indicative of being a protoflier and has all the attributes expected in a neoflightless bird. It's not been shown that the skull of Incisivosaurus is over all less avian than
that of Archaeopteryx, in fact it seems more so in some palatal features.

Could you elaborate on these palatal features?

This is the sort of flight loss reversal thing that cladistics
is inherently hard pressed to handle.

Why do you think cladistics are "inherently hard pressed to handle" reversals?

In fact, there is growing evidence that some short tailed flying birds
from the Jehol have strong oviraptor like features, which may eventually show that the dinosaurs are descended from
birds more highly derived than even I suggested in DA.

Your book was rather confusing (too many dashes and question marks, my head is still reeling from that) regarding this. Could you please post a more precise example (preferably in the form of a cladogram) onlist of what you were suggesting?

I've finished restoring the type Cryptovolans (which might be Microraptor but it's real hard to tell because the latter's
type is inadequate although its tail is much shorter) in the same flight mode I used in fig 7.4 in DA (ask to see it at SVP).

If we are incapable of seeing it there by lacking sufficient transport and funds, may we see it linked to onlist in the weeks post-SVP?

However, the cladistic evidence that Archy was more avian than dromy is actually weak and badly contaminated by problems of neoflightless
reversal, and there is abundant character data that dromys are more
avian anyway.

Hey, maybe it's just a problem of needing more taxa and better characters to sort it all out, because afterall, not everyone is blessed enough to have received their copies of the Czerkas volume or gotten the scans from individuals who do have this book (I'm the latter though & I like these new maniraptorans a lot), and it does take time to add new varmints to a matrix, especially those big matrices. Not that I would know, I'm only a palaeoartist and a high-school student, but golly (feeling Cleaver-esque), thought it was worth suggesting...

_________________________________________ NICK GARDNER Palaeoartist aim CloudRaptor05

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