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RE: Testing Unenlagiinae

Mickey Mortimer wrote:

The third is a medially or posteriorly directed hallux, which is coded as present in Rahonavis. It is however absent in that taxon (Middleton, 2003). Scansoriopterygids also seem to lack a twist in their metatarsal I, contra Senter's coding.

How often is this character actually coded for maniraptorans (both avian and non-avian)? Whether or not the first metatarsal has 'twist' is something that is usually ignored. This character is one of several characters correlated with perching, but usually overlooked (in part because, historically speaking, the hallux of birds has simply been assumed to be reversed).

The second is six sacral vertebrae, which Turner et al. correctly coded as present in Unenlagia (unlike Senter), but still coded Deinonychus as unknown when in fact it has six as well. They also coded Adasaurus as unknown (it has five), Archaeopteryx as having five (it can have six too), Jeholornis as having five (it has six), Sapeornis as having eight (it has seven), and Apsaravis as having seven (it has ten). The miscoding of almost all birds for such a simple character is disturbing.

How easy is this character to code (number of sacral vertebrae)? I'm guessing this could be more complicated for derived birds, given the entire synsacrum buisness.

|  `--+--+--Pedopenna
|     |  `--Yandangornis
|     `--+--Patagonykus
|        `--+--Mononykus
|           `--Shuvuuia

I'd be interested to know what characters support this _Pedopenna_+_Yandangornis_ clade, and its inclusion within Alvarezsauridae - and what the bootstraps are like.

David Marjanovic wrote:

Mickey, sprinkle some citations over it, replace "disturbing" by "indicative of a typographic or similar error", and GET THAT PUBLISHED.

Yeah, I have to agree with David here. It might also be useful to provide bootstrap support values, at least above a certain value. The fact that so many taxa bounce around, especially between Dromaeosauridae and Troodontidae, makes me think that the exact position of many taxa is not well-supported.



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