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Re: Important new papers on basal theropods and ornithischians

Smith, N. D., P. J. Makovicky, D. Pol, W. R. Hammer, and P. J. Currie
(2007), The dinosaurs of the Early Jurassic Hanson Formation of theCentral
Transantarctic Mountains: Phylogenetic review and synthesis, in
Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World--Online Proceedings of the 10th
ISAES, edited by A. K. Cooper and C. R. Raymond et al., USGS Open-File
Report 2007-1047, Short Research Paper 003, 5 p.;

The paper tries to cite http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/rcb7/, which is a page full of gorgeous paleogeography reconstructions, but omits the third slash and everything behind it.

On the downside, it ascribes phylogenetic signal to keyhole-shaped orbits. Isn't that a size-related character? The jugal doesn't bother growing so broad dorsally that the orbit could be kept round throughout ontogeny?

(There's nothing wrong with having _one_ size-related character in a matrix. According to my M.Sc. thesis, body size contains a strong phylogenetic signal in dinosaurs generally. The problem is making sure that there's _only_ one size-related character in the matrix.)

Butler, R.J., P. Upchurch & D.B. Norman. 2007. The phylogeny of
ornithsichian dinosaurs. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.  early
online edition.

Very impressive, took away most of my day!

Alas, the JSP has a rather long lag between acceptance and publication, which means that several recently described important taxa are missing, most notably the authors' own *Eocursor*. But the authors regard this paper as part of an ongoing series on ornithischian phylogeny and mention several taxa that need to be redescribed. (For example, a redescription of *Scelidosaurus* is in preparation or in press -- the first since Owen 1863, which described the famous theropod-containing chimera.)

And all characters are unordered. This includes the number of palpebrals, the number of dorsal vertebrae, and the number of sacral vertebrae. <wince & wail>