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re: Bat wing digits (was Tiktaalik)
BTW, the thing about cladistic analysis is that it aims to construct
phylogenetic hypotheses based on many characters, drawn from all parts
of the body. So an exlusively foot-based phylogeny of pterosaurs is as
useless as an exclusively wing-based phylogeny of bats.
>>> So quick ot jump! No, it's not excluseively foot-based. It's
holistic. But the feet were the smoking gun. Again.
In any case, as Jaime said, Sears &c are not using the wings of bats to
reconstruct chiropteran phylogeny, or to identify the sister taxon of
the Chiroptera; their work aims to explain the developmental basis of
finger elongation, and its potential role in the evolution of the
chiropteran wing. So far, the fossil record is holding its cards close
to its chest with regards to the origin of bats, and the identity of the
chiropteran sister taxon.
>>> Not true. No one yet has attempted a species-based cladistic
analysis seeking bat ancestors that also included fossil taxa. When they
do, the closest sister taxon (taxa) will nest next to bats. And then
Alas, the same is also true of the Pterosauria... for the time being.
>> Now I know that's not true. That species-based cladistic analysis is
now 6 years old. Still unchallenged.