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RE: Similicaudipteryx feather ontogeny, in Nature



Jaime Headden wrote-

> My statement was initially assumptive of the validity of *Similicaudipteryx* 
> as a valid taxon (as a name equivalent to its species, in this case, which 
> just makes it a two-part species name as I have been treating new taxa named 
> in this form). I haven't dealt in detail with the holotype especially since 
> without detailed figures to analyze, and them all being remote, anything I do 
> claim on its validity is suspect. Do note, however, that even a unique 
> combination of features, whithout any autapomorphies, can be used to justify 
> the species. If the presence in the Yixian is the primary delineation from 
> *Caudipteryx,* then it seems much more questionable; however, until I can say 
> that it does, in fact, fall within the morphology for *Caudipteryx zoui*, I 
> am loathe to regard it as a Yixian *Caudipteryx*. The cranial morphology at 
> least separates one of these new specimens from *C. zoui*, as does one of the 
> specimen Xu et al refered to *C. zoui* (making only the type and paratype 
> useful in this case, unless one then also lumps in *C. dongi* into *C. zoui* 
> (they do differ, but we don't know if the variation is specifically 
> meaningful).

Err... I never said Similicaudipteryx was not valid, just that most of its 
original diagnosis is flawed.  And that since the Similicaudipteryx holotype 
comes from the Jiufotang Formation, while described Caudipteryx come from the 
Yixian Formation, that I'm extra suspicious about the new Yixian specimens 
being Similicaudipteryx.
 
Mickey Mortimer