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Re: Me vs. Makovicky et al.- comparison and consensus



On 10/18/05, Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> I had thought that Currie and Padian (1997) defined a stem-based
> Oviraptorosauria (_Oviraptor_ <-- _Passer_),

"Oviraptorosauria may be defined to include Oviraptoridae and all taxa
closer to _Oviraptor_ than to birds." (p. 508, in "A Note Added by the
Editors" tacked onto the end of  R. Barsbold's "Oviraptorosauria"
chapter)

This is rather odd, since, as recently noted on the list,
"oviraptorosaurs" are listed as one of the externals specifiers for
_Therizinosauria_. So if any of the internal specifiers for
_Therizinosauria_ are closer to _Oviraptor_ than to birds (and several
analyses posit so for all of the internal specifiers), their
definition of _Therizinosauria_ yields an empty taxon! (My guess is
that the "Therizinosauria" chapter was written with a more restricted
usage of _Oviraptorosauria_ in mind, but the editors later changed
their minds when adding the note onto Barsbold's chapter, and
accidentally overlooked the reference in the "Therizinosauria"
chapter.)

Moral of the story: use species or specimens as specifiers, not
supraspecific taxa. (Now repeat ten times quickly!) Or at least
specify exactly which definition of the supraspecific taxon you are
using.

> Thus, this Oviraptorosauria is
> equivalent (at least in content) to Enigmosauria.  Having said that, I'm not
> sure that this *expansion* of the Oviraptorosauria is such a good idea; IMHO
> it is preferable to have a less inclusive Oviraptorosauria, and a new clade
> name for this group + therizinosaur(oid)s.

Agreed. Currie and Padian are following Russell and Dong (1993), who
included Oviraptoridae, Elmisauridae, and Therizinosauroidea in
Oviraptorosauria, but this usage doesn't seem to have caught on.

Now off to SVP!
--
Mike Keesey
The Dinosauricon: http://dino.lm.com
Parry & Carney: http://parryandcarney.com