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Jaime's reply - parts 1 and 2 (medium short))

> Jaime said many things in the last posts. All good thoughts. Only a few items 
> seem to require a reply here.

> JH: I say, before publishing further on this, use a MICROSCOPE
> and examine the material first hand, as much as you can. If they can be
> traced, they would be there if you get down to the nitty gritty. Bennett
> has already publicly remarked on the use of photos and their graininess,
> as unreliable tools for this purpose. I would have hoped this would have
> permitted what I feel is more thouroughness and "professional" regard to
> the hypothesis, being a professional or not.

DP: Bennett's remarks would have had more of an impact if I felt there was an 
iota of validity to them. Or if there was a discussion rather than a lecture. 
This goes back a few years, but his bottom line was that he claims I did not
identify two bumps in the matrix that he saw. As I reported then and do so 
again, those bumps were parts of larger objects which I did draw and was able 
to identify and he, to this day, has not. The point of using photographs is to 
ALOT of specimens, a necessity when working up a cladogram. All I can say is, I 
learned alot that had not been known before. And it is internally consistent.

> JH: The cast itself
> preserved the massively irregular lower corner of the slab, and photos
> confirm that entire sections of it are missing. Instead of showing
> elements trailing off the broken slab, Dave "found" EVERY SINGLE element
> of the skeleton in a bizarre twist. If the wrist ends at the margin of the
> slab, the manus is off to the side, as in *Longisquama.* This is highly
> unlikely.

DP: Show me what you mean. Something is not clicking here.


> JH:   The material [which material?] shows that the preserved pelvic 
> fragments cross at most TWO vertebrae, not seven.

DP: Show me what you mean with a drawing. Let's test this together.

> I do not agree with Dave that elongated cranial
> processes of the ilia exist. Even should such iliac expansions exist,
> anterior caudals are incorporated between the posterior ilia in dinosaurs,
> as are posterior dorsals, without being incorporated into sacra. This is
> true to some degree in pterosaurs as well. Counting vertebrae between ilia
> DOES NOT correspond to sacral vertebral count.

DP: Actually, it might. Think about where those unossified transverse processes 
are going. And don't restrict yourself to only fused sacrals, because some 
pteros have no fusion in the sacrum at all.

>  JH:  Question to Dave: Do you assume that basal pterosaurs also had seven
> sacrals?

DP: My cladogram only goes to "more than five." Seven does not seem 
unreasonable considering the greatly elongated ilial processes in basal taxa.

JH: Not impossible [to find an archosaur with a finger 4 longer than 3], just 
unlikely. We have not found such an archosaur, but this does not mean one does 
not exists.

DP: When one is found, I will buy your beer for a year.

JH: This refutation [of the method] will not occur in print until the method is 
described in detail in print, with step by step examples, which I suggest you 
do to ligitimize
the method and allow it to be tested.

DP: The next paper has it.

DP earleier: <I'd be glad to review your Sharovipteryx tracings. Maybe you found
something I missed.>

 JH:  I'd have to get a VERY detailed photo of this material, for such a

DP: My mistake. I took from your comments that you had already created the 
tracings from whatever you had available. I'm happy to see that you have at 
least tried the technique. I wouldnot be disappointed if things are still 
overlooked or
overcooked. I'm reviewing my own work constantly as errors appear to show up. 
All part of the sanding and polishing process.

JH:   Ah. On a tangent, a question to Dave: how did you deliminate the margin
between the lachrymal and frontal/prefrontal complex, and not idenfify a
postfrontal, on the *Tanystropheus* skull that appears at
http:www.pterosaurinfo.com? (The dorsal cranium shows innumerable
fractures and cracks in the mineralized bone that in the photo appears to
obscure finding margins of a lot of bones in this.)

DP: On the big Tany I'm still trying to understand where the line is. I still 
don't see it.

On the Confuciusornis issue [according to Jaime, more pterosaur characters here 
than in any protorosaur]: Here's how I see it: You listed 6 of 9 carefully 
chosen characters for .66:1 ratio. I used 182 not so carefully chosen characters
(most have nothing to do with flight) and I can tell you how many characters 
are shared by Sharovipteryx or Longisquama and MPUM 6009: 160. That's 88 
percent. Among the 22 characters not shared: 4 are crest related (Longisquama 
has a crest
to support that headdress). 12 are wing related. The others are scattered.  4 
in the skull. One in the coracoid. One in the femoral head where in MPUM 6009 
it is inturned, but without a contricted "neck". Hard to tell in Longisquama. 
character might drop off the short list some day.

JH:   Dave's "proto-pterosaurs" show only "ephemeral" features that make them
so pterosaur-like. Others who study these animals, including Renesto,
Wild, Rieppel, Li, et al., have not corroborated these to my knowledge.

DP: True. No arguments. No corroboration.

DP earlier: <They why didn't Unwin and Kellner get more resolution out of their 
They didn't get the result they wanted.>

 JH:  Because they weren't trying to get A result, they were looking to see
the result of the taxa and characters included. There was no "azhdarchoid"
clade being MADE, nor was there an "ornithocheiroid" or "pteranodontoid"
clade being made, but rather they included characters they felt should be
in the matrix, and the taxa, and they published the result. This is how
they SHOULD have done it.

DP: You missed my point. The result they wanted to get, I can double-dog 
guarantee you, is a single tree. Unwin got 6 trees. Kellner: 80.

DP: Juveniles should group with adults.>

 JH:  But they don't. An example may be found in the Bakker, Williams and
Currie analysis of 1988 showed a skull of a small tyrannosaur, now
*Nanotyrannus,* to be clade along with "albertosaurines," despite being
almost universally accepted as a juvenile *Tyrannosaurus.*

DP: Universally accepted is a red flag, in my opinion. I've seen worse case 
scenarios. Here's an idea: leave room for doubt!

JH: Examples exist among the salamanders:

DP: Why didn't you just say insects? The kind with larvae. I know you're trying 
to be good lawyer and argue only for one side, but try to avoid exceptions and 
examples that come from far afield and stay with creatures that look and act
like the subjects at hand.

Best until next time,

David Peters