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RE: Eumaniraptora stuff again......

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Steven Mahon
> Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 2:19 PM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Eumaniraptora stuff again......
>   Hello All,
> I've been reading previous posts about Eumaniraptoran
> phylogeny, & the whole "is *Archaeopteryx* a bird"
> thing. I've found some posts that say Dromaeosauridae
> is paraphyletic, & some dromies are closer to birds
> than others. Could someone sort this out for me?

We're working on it...

In fact, this is a major area of non-resolution at the moment, especially
with the arrival of such forms as Microraptor and Shenzhouraptor and so
forth which muddy up the old discrete categories.

So, current majority opinion is that Dromaeosauridae is monophyletic, is the
sister taxon to Troodontidae, and that Deinonychosauria as a whole is the
sister taxon to Archaeopteryx + later birds.  That being said, this position
is insecure, and (among other things) a paraphyletic arrangement of the taxa
commonly included in "Dromaeosauridae" with respect to birds, or a placement
of Archaeopteryx basal to some traditional "dromaeosaurids" is not out of
the question.

Hope this helps.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796