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Re: Our current understanding of Mesozoic bird phylogeny



What about _Yungavolucris_? The specimen does not look
like it walked a lot but IIRC it's neither too well
adapted for perching. Is there anything Mesozoic
around which has similar proportions? (Is there
*anything* with similar proportions?)

Some think it may have been a foot-propelled diver. In any case the extra-broad mt II is unique.


Crown avisaurids -> functional convergence to gripping
feet of Falconiformes maybe?

What do you mean by "crown"? By definition, there is none, because they're all dead. -- I do think those feet are convergent to those of birds of prey (...*Boluochia* has rather long claws, too, IIRC...) and may mean that we have here a clade of Cretaceous predatory flying birds. With teeth -- or so I used to think based on the older interpretations of *Cuspirostrisornis*...


Mmmh, it certainly would expand confuciornithine
diversity to a point where one would have to assume
the fossil record to be VERY imperfect/misassigned

Well, it _is_ very imperfect. :-)

And then there is the question of size - if Lectavis
was simply scaled up, the issue of whether it wasn't
actually flightless arises. But it seems to have been
long-legged rather than big - and this, in turn, would
suggest a cursorial lifestyle,

Or a wading one.

Many thanks for the work (finally we seem to be
getting *somewhere* as regards Enantiornithes internal
phylogeny!)

Yes. And just in time, too -- I'm expanding and updating my M. Sc. thesis for publication :-)