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re: Wukongopterus and Darwinopterus
David Unwin reported: "Wukongopterus was collected from the same locality as
Darwinopterus and in a rerun of our (i.e. Lü et al. 2009) phylogenetic analysis
that included this taxon it paired with Darwinopterus in a well supported
sister group relationship with Pterodactyloidea. "
Indeed! Shall we keep Wukungopterus and Darwinopterus separate for awhile? Or,
which came first according to the rule book?
Interesting that the nesting of these taxa cannot be duplicated by competing
studies. Something to work on!
One study (Wang et al) places Wukongopterus as the sister to Dorygnathus and
outside a clade that includes Eudimorphodon, Dimorphodon and all
pterodactyloids. Their tree had 140,000+ solutions. Deleting Scleromochlus and
several incomplete taxa reduced this number to 15,800+ MPTs.
One study (Lu et al.) places them between basal taxa and Pterodactyloidea, but
with 500,000+ solutions or MPTs.
One (unpublished) places them in the midst of several germanodactylids,
apomorphies and all. This tree had one solution or MPT despite (or due to)
being twice as as large as competing studies and including incomplete taxa. All
the outgroups in this study gradually added pterosaurian characters. All the
outgroups in the Wang and Lu studies did not.
Hopefully this will prove to be a watershed moment when we all come together on
these two very interesting and completely articulated specimens likely of the
It's also time to get back to those microscopes and dissolving agents to find
more long tails and elongated fifth toes!
cc: DL, DU, AK