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Re: pterosaur femora sprawl

It's true there aren't any recognized flightless stem-bats, but what do you mean by "enormous range"? Archonta is dead, including the "flying primate" hypothesis, and the sister-group relationship of Chiroptera and Zooamata (Ferae + Perissodactyla) is supported by molecular data, including LINE insertion sites. Have I missed something?

Granted, the sister taxon relationship Chiroptera and Zooamata is supported by the current molecular data, but I think you'll find that many workers still consider some version of the Archonta hypothesis viable (morphologists, in particular), and in any case I'm not ready to throw in my chips on any single topology at the moment given the sheer number of sister-group relationships for bats that have been proposed in the past 8 to 10 years (that's not to say that I disagree with the most recent LINE insertion work, but merely to say that I don't consider it a silver bullet). Yes, I realize that is going back pretty far for systematics work, especially for molecular systematics, but most recent does not necessarily mean most accurate. I would argue that there are still several competing hypotheses for bat origins, even if one of them happens to be a bit better supported than the others at present (or even much better supported). Do you consider the placement of Chiroptera to be a "done deal" at present?



Michael Habib, M.S.
PhD. Candidate
Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
1830 E. Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
(443) 280-0181