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Re: Paper on drepanosaurids

Dear all,
while I am searching to get my hand on that paper before commenting further, let me play a little joke: the name Simiosauria sounds appropriate, in fact if they are really so basal, they mimic very well lots of characters of more advanced diapsids, pterosaurs included.
More about this in a paper on the skull of Megalancosaurus holotype I submitted recently, hopefully I should have back the reviews in a short time .
More seriously, an applause to Phil Senter for stating that no drepanosaurid is aquatic, something I stated since 1994, but few believed (guess why?). Perhaps some more people will now consider it as feasible.


                                                Silvio Renesto

At 11.10 15/10/2004 +1300, you wrote:
Because they occassionally rear their plucked-chicken-like heads on the

Senter, P. 2004. Phylogeny of Drepanosauridae (Reptilia: Diapsida). Journal
of Systematic Palaeontology 2 (3): 257-268.
Available for Fwee!

"Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the Triassic diapsid family
Drepanosauridae is closely related to Coelurosauravus and Longisquama. These
three taxa are part of a clade for which the name Avicephala (defined as all
taxa more closely related to Coelurosauravus and Megalancosaurus than to
Neodiapsida) is coined. Avicephala is a sister taxon to Neodiapsida. The
name Simiosauria is erected for the clade composed of all taxa more closely
related to Drepanosauridae than to Coelurosauravus or Sauria. Simiosauria is
composed of MCSNB 4751 + (Hypuronector + Drepanosauridae). Drepanosauridae
is composed of Drepanosaurus + (Dolabrosaurus + Megalancosaurus).
Arboreality is probably plesiomorphic for Avicephala and no convincing
evidence exists that any simiosaurian was aquatic."

Amongst the conclusions: Drepanosaurids are stem group diapsids, not
archosauromorphs, and not related to prolacertiformes. Archaeopteryx,
Ornitholestes and Sinosauropteryx were included in the analysis to test the
Feducci-oid theory that birds are derived from Avicephala - they're not.
Pterosaurs were not included, and not even mentioned in the article.


" Men take in great consideration what falls within their sphere of knowledge, but they don't realize how much it depends from what is beyond that""
(Zhuang Zhi)

Prof. Silvio Renesto
Department of Structural and Functional Biology
Università degli Studi dell Insubria
via Dunant 3
21100 Varese
phone +39-0332-421560
e-mail: silvio.renesto@uninsubria.it
see my Triassic website at http://dipbsf.uninsubria.it/paleo/