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RE: Eoconfuciusornis, Paraprotopteryx, Pengornis, Aberratiodontus and other basal birds

Mickey Mortimer wrote:

> [snip] Protarchaeopterygidae (Incisivosaurus and Protarchaeopteryx) as the 
> ultimate outgroup.  

Clade Protarchaeopterygidae has not been named yet, AFAIK.

> Wyleyia being a dromaeosaurid is an intriguing result.

Soon you'll be able to put _Yaverlandia_ in your matrix.  :-)

> Eoconfuciusornis was just described last month. Zhang et al. claim it to be a 
> stem-confuciusornithid (outside the Confuciusornis + 
> Changchengornis clade). [snip] The only seemingly valid character is the 
> lower 
> deltopectoral crest. In my analysis, it comes out closer to Confuciusornis 
> than to Changchengornis, the latter which may not even be a 
> confuciusornithid. This is based on manual
> phalanx II-2 being longer than II-1 (a primitive character, but a reversal 
> since Jixiangornis, Dalianraptor, Yandangornis and 
> omnivoropterygids have short II-2 phalanges), as well as the non-included 
> characters enlarged surangular foramen, furcular arm 
> with>20% of arm length, and manual phalanx II-2 bowed. 

There is the matter of the toothless beak, shared by _Confuciusornis_ and 
_Changchengornis_ (and _Eoconfuciusornis_ too).  Then again, this re-evolved 
many times in theropod phylogeny, so why not one more time?

>juvenile enantiornithines like GMV-2159, Jibeinia and Protopteryx have 
>elongate retrices. I would argue it's a juvenile Confuciusornis if not 
> or the coracoid foramen, apparently well developed dorsal ulnar condyle, and 
> pubic foot.

_Changchengornis_ is also reported to have a longer hallux than 
_Confuciusornis_, thus making it a better 'percher'.

> Paraprotopteryx was described last year by Zheng et al. and said to be most 
> closely related to Protopteryx

(_Paraprotopteryx_, _Protarcharchaeopteryx_, _Eoconfuciusornis_.... you have to 
marvel at the inventiveness of these names_).

As for the tree, I like the idea of _Pedopenna_ as a basal avialan, but 
_Archaeopteryx_ as the basal avian.  It's interesting that _Enaliornis_ falls 
out of the Hesperornithes, and that _Chaoyangia_ comes out as an avisaurid.


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