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Re: AW: The cladogram from the supp. inf. of the *Anchiornis* paper
I'd advise anyone interested in the topology here to include [...]
another taxon of Confuciusornithidae that is not adult _C. sanctus_.
Assuming there is one. :-) *C. dui* seems real for the moment, but who
knows. Maybe we'll run into surprises like the synonymy of *Torosaurus*
> Aves is defined right below as "the least inclusive clade
> including *Archaeopteryx* and Neornithes".
Including Archie in *anything* is asking for trouble. Not before we
know waht's with Guimarota, and not before we know more about
theropod diversity on the W shore of the Turgai Sea from shortly
before Archie to 20 Ma later. (Even if no theropods are found -
*anything* about the ecosystem there will help).
Why is that trouble for nomenclature?
Where the trouble really lies is that I'm waiting for Archie to come out
as, for example, a (very) basal troodontid, or maybe a slightly bizarre
unenlagiine after all. Birds and oviraptorosaurs are remarkably close
together again, too.
There are, anyway, very Archie-like teeth in Guimarota.
(:..The western shore of the Turgai Sea? Do we even know where that was???)
> I still don't believe in *Wellnhoferia*. :-)
The current bones paper and a few allometry friends of it have
strangled it in its sleep. This is just its ghost walking.
Ehem indeed. Did they code it as reversed in Archie? If so, oh boy...
Can't tell. The matrix is printed in =/&%&$&€&%&$ vector format, you
know, the name of each taxon followed by a string of numbers and
question marks that extends over 3 or 4 lines. Completely unreadable.
I'd have to copy it into a PAUP* file by hand.
It's nice to include _Shenzhouraptor_, but you need more of this sort
I mean that the authors evidently think that 1) *Jeholornis* and
*Shenzhouraptor* are synonyms, which appears highly likely to me, and 2)
*Jeholornis* has priority, which is rather surprising as far as I can tell.
All these "long-tailed birds" (*Jixiangornis* and *Dalianraptor*
included) need to be redescribed
2 Sapeornithidae too (they barely could have, but data availability
has much improved since they did the study).
Well, there's that second species of *Sapeornis*, but *Omnivoropteryx*
still hasn't been described and may not even have been prepared yet. The
original book chapter shows X-ray photos of the fossil in the rock. If
it's synonymous with *Sapeornis*, we're not going to find out anytime soon.
(Omnivoropterygidae probably has priority over Sapeornithidae, however.)
So... where are the (southern) African unenlagiine almost-birds?
Where are the (southern) African anything? There aren't many Cretaceous
sites in that region, and AFAIK no Jurassic ones. From the K, there's
the sauropod *Algoasaurus*, the ?basal coelurosaur *Nqwebasaurus*, and a
gondwanatherian mammal from the LK of Tanzania which promises dinosaurs
that haven't been found yet.
What is known about unenlagiine habitat in South America? Was there
grassland already? How dense were the woods, if any, approximately,
in internal density and as proportion of the landscape?
All I can say is that it was not grassland. Grassland is an Oligocene
invention, late Eocene at the most.