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Re: The Return of More New Papers - Dinosaur monophyly



I see what Tony Thulborn's saying, but I didn't think Dinosauria could be polyphyletic by accepted definitions (/Passer/+/Triceratops/ or /Megalosurus/+/Iguanodon/+/Cetiosaurus/, etc.), even it turned out to include crocs. Which wouldn't be disastrous in my opinion.

Jerry D. Harris wrote:

Thulborn, T. 2006. On the tracks of the earliest dinosaurs: implications for the hypothesis of dinosaurian monophyly. Alcheringa 30:273-311.

ABSTRACT: From the record of dinosaurian skeletal remains it has been inferred that the. origin and initial diversification of dinosaurs were rapid events, occupying an interval of about 5 million years in the Late Triassic. By contrast numerous reports of dinosauroid tracks imply that the emergence of dinosaurs was a more protracted affair extending through much of the Early and Middle Triassic. This study finds no convincing evidence of dinosaur tracks before the late Ladinian. Each of the three dinosaurian clades - Theropoda, Sauropodomorpha, Ornithischia - produced a unique track morphotype that appears to be an independent modification of the chirotherioid pattern attributed to stern-group archosaurs (thecodontian reptiles). The existence of three divergent track rnorphotypes is consistent with the concept of dinosaurian polyphyly but can be reconciled with the hypothesis of dinosaurian monophyly only by invoking many and rapid reversals in the locomotor anatomy of early dinosaurs. The origin of dinosaurs was not the correlate or consequence of any single event or process, be it global change, competitive replacement, or opportunism in the wake of mass extinction. Instead the origin of dinosaurs is envisaged as a series of three cladogenetic events over an interval of at least 10 million years and possibly as much as 25 million years. This scenario of dinosaurian polyphyly is as well-supported by fossil evidence as is the currently favoured view of dinosaurian monophyly.

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