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Re: Differences between *Vancleavea* and thalattosaurs

 The mistake IMHO is with Wu et al. who scored Miodentosaurus as
 subthecodont when the lingual dentary is just as high as the labial

That's actually fairly common in taxa with subthecodont tooth implantation. It's not part of the definition, AFAIK.

 Interdental plates cannot be verified in either taxa given
 the images presented. Which author was hedging? We'll have to leave
 this one for later. It is also very possible, Vancleavea arrived at
 (or never lost) tooth dividers independently. After all, it's not far
 from Helveticosaurus.  Not sure what it's status is, but given such
 big teeth, evolution might have added some support there.

Not every wall between two alveoli is an interdental plate! We (and sphenacodontians in general) are thecodont (as opposed to aulacodont), yet lack any trace of interdental plates.

 In the meantime, if Vancleavea is indeed an archosauriform, don't you
 wonder where the antorbital fenestra and the temporal fenestrae
 disappeared to (without a trace)?

It's normal for fenestrae, when they disappear, to leave no trace. ~:-|

 Where's the  mandibular fenestra?

Perhaps ask *Tyrannosaurus*.

 Why is the orbit in the front half of the skull?

For the same reason why the mandibular fenestra is missing, I suppose: to provide more attachment space for strong jaw muscles to operate those big teeth.

 Then remember, "the
 apple doesn't usually fall far from the tree" which is another way of
 saying evolution works in small incremental steps.

Not all of which are necessarily 1) preserved and 2) discovered as of December 2009.

 I judge referees
 the same way. If they have nothing "nice" to say about several months
 worth of work, then they probably have a personal agenda. The good
 ones weigh the good against the bad.

The comments by referees _never_ spend a lot of space on listing the advantages of a manuscript. "It's good and interesting, let it through" is hard to say in 100 words. Listing problems and what to do about them, however, requires lots of space. Accusations of personal agendae are, consequently, rather laughable.

That you've invested several months of work is _normal_ and _expected_. If you hadn't invested that much, you shouldn't have submitted in the first place, except if the manuscript is about a nomenclatural correction or something similarly cheap (in short: not science). _I don't understand why you expect to be praised for merely not failing._

Have you never noticed how rare the people are who publish more than about five papers per year on average, and that with the help of several coauthors on almost every one of them?

Besides, it's not just in Soviet Russia that referees judge you.