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RE: Pneumaticity in Triassic pterosaurs

> Date: Sun, 17 May 2009 06:36:41 -0700
> From: davidpeters@att.net
> To: david.marjanovic@gmx.at
> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Pneumaticity in Triassic pterosaurs

>> one of the referees. The manuscript got rejected (without
>> any influence from me) because... well, as it came out last
>> year, you didn't even know how to make a data matrix for
>> phylogenetic, as opposed to phenetic, analysis, and that
>> showed. Bigtime.

> Second, specifically, how, in your view, does a phylogenetic data matrix 
> differ from a phenetic one when dealing with fossil organisms? Are not both 
> concerned with morphology, characters and ratios?

aren't phylogeny and phenetics different?  if they're the same, why not use one 

> Third, if a given matrix and its scores deliver a single MPT in which all 
> sister taxa are similar in size, shape, niche and chronology, isn't that a 
> good result?

 I know I'd be suspicious - look at bats.

or, to bring this back to dinosaurs, aren't therizinosaurs most similar in 
size, shape, and niche to the prosauropods?

>>> I can show you the path of most parsimony if
>> you're interested.
>> Erm, PAUP* will do that... :-)
> By that I meant, if you are accidentally excluding any pertinent taxa, you 
> should be told.

I know there's a difference between not being aware of excluding taxa, and not 
listening when it comes to excluding taxa....there's a way to distinguish the 
two, yes?

>> - For the probably twentieth time, the vertebrate fossil
>> record -- let alone our knowledge of it!!! -- simply
>> isn't complete enough that we could expect to do what
>> the Unnameable Ones ask us to do (to present them a complete
>> series of transitional fossils documenting each and every
>> speciation-or-whatever between two arbitrary endpoints).
> Respectfully, that's an opinion, David. If I can do it, you can too.

I can misspell the names of most prehistoric taxa.  does that mean you should 

> Also, when you say 'complete series' I hope you don't mean every mother's 
> son. What I'm saying is you'll be able to line them up like the famous 
> Australopithecus to Homo sapiens march.


and here I thought evolutionary history was more bush-shaped than ladder-shaped.

> Or as I did from bacteria to humans in "From the Beginning" (1991)now 
> available only from Amazon. The whole idea is just to get a picture of what 
> really happened.

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