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Re: New Papers



----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Mortimer" <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2006 12:42 AM

    Is this a first?  I don't know of any other taxon based on an
endocast...?

*Thecospondylus* is based on a _sacral_ endocast.

I'm torn between my usual preference for naming diagnostic taxa,
and the issue of whether a diagnosis is even worthwhile in cases like
this where the 60 or so most closely related taxa can't be compared.

I think they shouldn't have named it. It is the first Mesozoic bird discovered in that region -- suppose they find another 10 later on in the same site, each of which could be *Cerebavis* (note the conspicuously missing -r- of _cerebrum_). Even if complete 3D-preserved braincases are found for all of these, I don't think an endocast will turn out to be diagnostic enough.