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Re: something's wrong here: Qianosuchus phylogeny

Mike Taylor (mike@indexdata.com) wrote:

<Really?  What is the reason for knowing a priori that scleromochlids could not
possibly be paraphyletic with respect to pterosaurs?>

  I'm going to step out on a limb here and say that because *Scleromochlus*
does not itself a paraphyletic clade make. While a species can certainly be
paraphyletic, there needs to be a clear (and I'd think, known) lineage of
descent. We can trace our own lineage to a probably paraphyletic *H. erectus*
because we know the collective of HE is likely paraphyletic, and if we assume
the species is retentive and valid, then it is a paraphyletic "grade" with
regards to its descendants. In contrast, there is only one tiny collection of
*Scleromochlus* fossils, some of which are horribly indistinct in detail. There
are no other *Scleromochlus* relatives that form a so-called "Scleromochlidae".


Jaime A. Headden

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