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AW: Funny New Papers

--- Jerry D. Harris <jharris@dixie.edu> schrieb am Di, 4.8.2009:

> Von: Jerry D. Harris <jharris@dixie.edu>
> Betreff: Funny New Papers

Mayr has another one out, this time it's funny feet:

"Notes on the osteology and phylogenetic affinities of the Oligocene 
Diomedeoididae (Aves, Procellariiformes)

Fossil Record Volume 12 Issue 2, Pages 133 - 140 doi:10.1002/mmng.200900003

New specimens of the procellariiform taxon Diomedeoididae are reported from the 
early Oligocene (Rupelian) deposits of Wiesloch-Frauenweiler in southern 
Germany. Two skeletons belong to Diomedeoides brodkorbi, whereas isolated legs 
of larger individuals are tentatively assigned to D. lipsiensis, a species 
which has not yet been reported from the locality. The fossils allow the 
recognition of some previously unknown osteological features of the 
Diomedeoididae, including the presence of a vestige of the hallux. 
Diomedeoidids are characterized by extremely wide phalanges of the third and 
fourth toes, which also occur in some species of the extant procellariiform 
Oceanitinae (southern storm-petrels). The poorly developed processus 
supracondylaris dorsalis of the humerus supports a position of these Oligocene 
tubenoses outside a clade including the Diomedeidae (albatrosses), 
Procellariidae (shearwaters and allies), and Pelecanoididae (diving-petrels). 
It is
 hypothesized that like modern Oceanitinae, which have an equally short 
supracondylar process, diomedeoidids probably employed flap-gliding and used 
their immersed feet to remain stationary."

Hmmmm... I wonder if he says anything about _Primodroma bournei_, yet another 
London Clay taxon of Harrison and Walker. It happens to be just a distal 
humerus fragment - but it is "storm-petrel-like".

Not having seen the paper yet, I presume Mayr does say something about the 
monophyly or nonmonophyly of diomedeoidids+hydrobatids (s.l.) and 
diomedeoidids+oceanitids (as in "hydrobatids s.str."). It would be relevant for 
flight mode evolution in the tubenoses. 

For a cladistic look at that question, it is probably better to make two runs - 
one with limb characters and one without - and compare the outcomes. If the 
actual evolutionary scenario was NOT "diomedeoidids+oceanitids are monophyletic 
to the exclusion of hydrobatids s.str., and 'wave-paddling' evolved only once 
in tubenoses and never reverted", the amount of limb characters vs other 
characters scorable from the material is still liable to swamp the analysis