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Re: Juravenator; or How not to perform a phylogenetic analysis



> Keep in mind that some reviewers (and journal editors) are now strongly
> pressuring authors to at least do lip service to phylogenetics when a new
> taxon is described.  Pressure is even put on paleontologists who do not
> "specialize" in the subject.  The result is, for the sake of expediency
> in getting the new animal to press, a less than complete cladogram.
>
> The solution to this problem?  Stop pressuring those who's specialty is
> something other than cladistics to include cladistic phylogenies in their
> papers.  They will be happier, and phylogenetic specialists like you, who
> know what you are doing, will be happier too.
>
> Not every paleo paper needs to have an accompanying cladogram.

However, the significance of this specimen (outside those researchers who
are simply interested in theropod anatomy) lies within its phylogenetic
context. For example, if it were found to be a basal tetanurine, there
would be no particular suprise if its body was entirely covered with
scales (NOTE: we have no reason to suspect that of Juravenator: only
limited patches are known).

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
        Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796