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Nick asked...

> I'm sorry; where exactly to plesiosaurs fit into all of this?

They're pistosauroids.

Quick comment on Richard's recent post about bird-
theropod affinities. Richard, while cladistics consistently 
supports the nesting of birds within Theropoda, even if you 
are a vehement frothing-at-the-mouth never-to-be-converted 
angry ANTI-cladist, simple morphological comparison will 
convince you that birds are theropods. Indeed, note that 
many who support the theropod nature of birds are highly 
critical of cladistics (e.g., Bakker, Frey). There is no 
theropod/bird boundary - the two grade into one another via 
a multitude of intermediaries - and the two share 
innumerable detailed characters of all parts of the skeleton 
and soft tissue. Those few who argue that birds cannot be 
theropods consistency avoid/are unaware of/ignore this 
huge body of morphological evidence. 

Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL

email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
tel: 023 92846045