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Re: The Papers That Ate Cincinnati



> A stem clade "Panopisthocomiformes" could be erected
> for all birds closer to 
> the hoatzin (_Opisthocomus hoazin_) than to any
> other modern bird.  It might 
> include such fossil taxa as _Hoazinoides_ 

Probably, judging simply from its age*. Few Miocene
birds are incertae sedis; those that are not placeable
are usually nomina dubia. By 15 MYA, a
non-crown-clade-Aves would usually be recognizable
immediately as such if the hypodigm is not as bad as
in the

> dubious _Onychopteryx_.

Anything on *that* critter after Brodkorb's 1978
catalogue? (Ibis should go and get its archives
digitized...)

> These days, higher-level classification of
> prokaryotes (bacteria and 
> archaea) is based on 16S phylogeny.

Equivocal whether this will survive for as much as 5
more years. It's not as severe as the gathering storm
about the deep-time signal of 18S though (check out
doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2006.03.028 - nobody thought the
"spacers" were important, until 2 years ago or so.
Consequence is that one can probably get several
different 18S sequences *from the same individual*.)

* The original description of _Hoatzinoides_ is nice.
Miller goes at great length to discuss the fragment in
detail, points out how it is more plesiomorphic than
_Opisthocomus_, and then warns off this readers along
the lines of "but don't go and call this a missing
link between the Hoatzin and the cracids; I'd love to
be able to do this [this was the prevalent hypothesis
at that time] but it's simply too young; the hoatzin
and the cracids must have split far far earlier."

Indeed so. :)


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