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Re: Our current understanding of Mesozoic bird phylogeny

The ontogram is great!

Thanks for the *Yixianornis* ref.

Yes, but the first looks ontogenetic to me. Or, more probably, _partially_
ontogenetic (there's probably a phylogenetic signal in when in ontogeny the
sternum ossifies that far).

I agree. Indeed, this is probably true of most sternal process characters.

And then some!

Good, but how did you count the vertebrae in the pygostyle?

Dalingheornis (a juvenile) hadn't fused its pygostyle yet and has twenty
caudals, while the Yixian enantiornithine embryo has ~18. This fits with
estimations of ~8-15 caudals being incorporated into the pygostyles of other
basal avebrevicaudans.

Oh! Yes! It also fits the reports that extant birds have 18 -- 23 caudals as embryos.

Vorona has a few likely positions.  After I modified some codings for the
entries on my website, Vorona came out as a liaoningornithid instead.

Ah. Another one of the classical positions. Looks like my tiny analysis was a lot less bad than I thought. :o)

| |?-Jibeinia adult

Oho! What's that?

Jibeinia coded with juvenile characters as unknown. I'll post more on Jibeinia soon.

Oh. Looking forward to that!

Well, the topology changed a bit in the revised version. Here's what's going on my website-
|*-Jibeinia luanhera
| |--Eoenantiornis buhleri
| `--+--Sinornis santensis
| `--+--"Cathayornis" caudatus
| |--Concornis lacustris
| `--Neuquenornis volans
`--+*-Sazavis prisca
| |?-Vorona berivotrensis
| |--Eoalulavis hoyasi
| `--Liaoningornis longidigitus
|--Dapingfangornis sentisorhinus
|--Hebeiornis fengningensis
`--+--Boluochia zhengi
`--+*-Nanantius eos
|--Gobipteryx minuta
`--+--Soroavisaurus australis
`--+--Avisaurus archibaldi
`--Avisaurus gloriae

I found a clade like this a couple of times, too (except it was of course much less well resolved, and the liaoningornithids were IIRC outside).

As for Cuspirostrisornis-
[...] toothless maxilla

Really? You didn't show that in your Dinosauricon reconstruction. Is it visible in Hou's photo?

What has become of the sternal keel that extends over the entire length (shared with *Neuquenornis* and Ornithurae sensu Gauthier & de Queiroz), and the very large claw on the 1st toe (shared with *Neuquenornis* and IIRC *Concornis*)?


Ah, so we have a bird with bizarre dentition (for bird measures) lurking around the origin of Ornithothoraces and biting you with its caniniforms if you get too close. I hope the next specimen will not be split through all bones.


Yup. Several paleornithologists have noted that Otogornis is an enantiornithine as well, though nobody's examined it cladistically in a published analysis yet.

I found that, too, but I didn't know about Kurochkin's reinterpretations. (In sum I probably found 60 % of everything that's remotely probable. Hm. I should really stop bragging.)

Now we know Hongshanornis had two phalanges on manual digit III, making
its reduction probably convergent between derived enantiornithines and derived

Oops, I had forgotten.

Ornithothoraces is only supported by the following, as far as this matrix goes- [...]

You still have 11 characters in that list. Is that the longest branch in your tree?

Just four more steps in addition to 857! Wow. Where does *Gansus* go in
this case?

In Odontornithes, if I remember correctly.

Looks like I shouldn't give up :o)

After doing this bird stuff months ago, I've been busy coding cranial
characters lately in my coelurosaur analysis. Almost done with them finally.