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Re: A Critical Re-examination of Theropod Phylogenetics

On 8/23/05, J <sappororaptor@yahoo.com> wrote:
> 'Silly little' incomplete taxa do disrupt analyses to an extent, but i'd 
> rather learn of their
> possible relationships in theropod evolution than seeing that Dromaeosauridae 
> are nestled closest
> to birds for the millionth time. Your tree is informative for the 
> beginner/freshman in theropod
> phylogenies, but is too basic to get me excited. For example this portion of 
> your clade below:
>                                       /---- Ceratosaurus
> ---------------------------------------+
>                                       \---- Abelisauridae
> is very simple yet encompases 10-20 taxa spanning the Late Jurassic to the 
> Late Cretaceous.
> Furthermore, several Abelisaurids (Abelisauroids) are known from good skull 
> material, so your
> latter branch can be further subdivided WITHOUT the need to invoke any silly 
> postcranial
> characters.
> Many postcranial characters are quite progressive and therefore informative. 
> Consider the hands &
> feet, as John mentioned. Howabout the cervical vertebral characters in 
> Naosaurids, caudal
> vertebral characters in Oviraptorosaurs,

Don't be silly, haven't you been paying attention? They're all
superficially similiar postcranially, none of those silly postcrania
have any influence on their relationships at all. Why even run those
characters? It's a bloody waste of time, and I don't want to miss my
tea. ;[

Nick Gardner