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Re: Sharovipteryx an ornithodiran??
Sure finger V of pteros is tiny, but that goes back to Macrocnemus.
It's not just tiny, it's gone, and so is its metacarpal.
Finger IV is still a lateral digit. Not THE lateral digit. A lateral
digit. In lizards long. In archosaurs small, smaller than III at least.
Indeed it is small in pterosaurs -- not in length, but in the number of
phalanges (4 instead of 5).
Toe V in pterosaurs has fewer phalanges because two shorts fused to become
Then where is the ungual? Look at the stepwise reduction of the claw of
finger III in birds. Never did that finger look like the 5th toe of a
pterosaur. And where is the evidence for fusion? Where is the suture?
In archosauriforms, as you know, toe V is always pretty short.
Doesn't prevent them from lengthening it secondarily...
Benton 1985 did and look what he found.
Based on how many taxa and characters?
The pattern is so different that, as I think I mentioned before, you put
any number of archosaurs into a cladogram, add the basal pterosaur MPUM
6009 and two lizards, Varanus and Iguana, and the pterosaur will nest with
the Iguana. You don't even need the usual predecessors. Try it!
If I really get to making an amniote phylogeny as part of my dissertation
(starting this summer), I will...