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RE: justification for excluding lagerpetids and/or pterosaurs from a phylogenetic analysis of the Archosauria

Dave Peters wrote:

<Everyone else's? Like who? Who includes generic pterosaurs and lepidosaurs or 
fenestrasaurs in analysis?

When you one that includes all the candidates we've been discussing, let me 
know. I'm keenly interested.>

  I'm not sure I can "tl;dr" this reply for the sake of brevity. The closest I 
can get to is "Dave, you need to stop using your unpublished work to claim that 
the Pterosaurs as Archosaurs hypothesis is untenable ... you give us nothing 
with which to say your hypothesis is any better."

  Right now, the claim that pterosaurs are more likely allied with dinosaurs 
within archosaurs is based largely on the compiled datasets of the last two and 
a half decades of cladistic analysis, essentially beginning with Gauthier's 
seminal work. Since then, this hypothesis was tested on refined diapsids going 
back to and including prolacertiforms (before it was rendered unstable by 
further research) and the protorosaurs (after they were split off). It has 
gotten some hairy turns, where some groups show some taxa clade elsehwere based 
on more data, but this work has always contributed to refining the full 
datasets -- seldom has it been rejected. Peters (2000) proposes that pterosaurs 
clade elsewhere, and so far, the data used has been scrutinized, but not in a 

  As far as the pterosaurs versus dinosaurs and lepidosaurs tug-of-war that one 
objected-to analysis proposes (Dave's), there is a one-versus-many mentality 
that seems to be coming forth telling us that the analysis that argues for 
Ornithodira _sensu_ Gauthier has been criticized by its own formulators, but 
the pterosaur position does not really falter. Only one paper (Dave's) rejects 
this, but it does not do it on the objected-to work's merits (by testing their 
analyses with new data). 

  So far, this remains the case for both sides. No one has tested Peters (2000) 
explicitly (largely on the grounds that peters was preparing a better dataset), 
and Peters has only objected to other analyses on this list using his hitherto 
unpresented dataset, so my statement stands.


Jaime A. Headden

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