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Re: something's wrong here: Qianosuchus phylogeny



----- Original Message ----- From: "Tim Williams" <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 2:08 AM


Just a minor quibble.  _Triassolestes_ is a fossil dragonfly (Tillyard,
1918), _Trialestes_ is the fossil crocodylomorph (Bonaparte, 1982 - to
replace _Triassolestes_ Reig, 1963).

(Of course, the right thing to do would have been to make up "Triadolestes"... <whine>)


(a) "Does this make sense?" is a question that too often is answered by
someone who believes that there own opinions have priority over analysis of
the data. This is also called "hand-waving".

Often we simply don't know what makes sense. Often the analysis can tell us what makes sense, rather than vice versa.


(b) Evolution does not *always* work in tiny increments. Here's an example
of one hypothesis to the contrary...

An extreme and more obvious case are the turtles: the shoulder girdle is either outside or inside the ribcage, there can't be any increments (in amniotes, whose ribs are never as short as a salamander's).