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JVP - Doswellia - Dilkes and Sues 2009



Dilkes and Sues 2009 placed Doswellia as the sister taxon to Proterochampsidae - at best. Unfortunate that tradition was followed in their study, rather than rigorous testing of all possibilities. Missing from their inclusion list: a number of choristoderes, Cerritosaurus and various Youngina and Younginoides, many with a similarly flattened skull.

For outgroups. Mesosuchus shares little with Prolacerta, except the postparietals absent (12) postaxial cervical intercentra absent (45), similar central ratios between cervicals and dorsals (47), all this according to Dilkes and Sues. So really, not much. Prolacerta remains a good choice for outgroup, but not Mesosuchus.

Too bad we don't know which proterochampsid was used in analysis, whether Proterochampsa, Chanaresuchus, Tropidosuchus or Lagerpeton. I really have come to hate the use of suprageneric taxa. It's such a cop-out.

Also, I note they report: "Data for [a large number of included taxa] were obtained primarily from the literature." From what I've heard from referees, that's been outlawed.

Otherwise, well written paper, great illustrations, marred only by inappropriate taxon inclusion and exclusion in analysis.

Best regards,

David Peters
davidpeters@att.net