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Re: Koreanosaurus, new burrowing ornithopod [Meta]
You and I call it an ornithopod because the paper (and by extension
its authors) call it an ornithopod. And presumably the authors,
having studied the fossil more than anyone else to date, would be the
best-placed to take a stab at what the fossil is of.
However, they say it's pretty close to the base of Ornithopoda. Coupled
with the instability of our current knowledge of neornithischian
phylogeny, this makes some people wonder whether *K.* could be just
outside instead of just inside Ornithopoda. This is why people say this
should have been tested (and, conversely, why they don't make that
complaint every time a new series of tail vertebrae from Patagonia is
announced as a new titanosaur).
* = and even then, there will be people saying "that's a bad
cladogram, because you forgot these genera."
Hey, it's only science. :-) It's not some magic method to get at the
whole truth immediately.
(you've already said that they listed the features which led them to
their statement of who it may be related to - so how does that differ
from a cladogram?)
A lot! If you only draw a tree and list which character state changes
support that tree, that alone is not a cladogram. To make a cladogram,
-- you need to make a data matrix,
-- you absolutely need to do a cladistic analysis which shows that the
tree you get is the most parsimonious one that explains that matrix,
-- and you need to indicate _all_ places in the tree where _any_ of the
characters in the matrix changes, either directly by publishing the
entire apomorphy list and change list (something PAUP* can output for
you), or indirectly by publishing the data matrix (so that everyone can
simply repeat your analysis and recreate those lists on their own), or