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Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy" + paper requests
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- Subject: Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy" + paper requests
- From: evelyn sobielski <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2011 14:53:47 +0100 (BST)
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> That's _Euornithes_. Do you really think this is the clade
> that most
> deserves the name _Aves_? I mean, the known composition of
> the clade
> in question is equivalent to something like
> (_Archaeorhynchus_ +
> _Neornithes_). What is so important about it? What
> apomorphies do we currently believe originated there?
1. crown group-type tail
2. crown-group-type growth to maturity
The euornithean lineages that didn't make it past the Mesozoic were restricted
in distribution and/or diversity. Their extinction is unsurprising. The
presumed/supposed sister group was massively diverse, had a global
distribution, and still *didn'*t make it.
That's quite important, I'd guess. If there was something other than chance
that caused some theropods to survive, its origin is most likely in Euornithes.
That is so irrespective of whether Ornithothoraces are a clade or an artefact -
if they are not a clade, Enantiornithes are still "very close" to Euornithes,
they are simply not necessarily "closer than" some other avialans anymore.
Avialae is Avialae, no matter whether it's grassy or combed halfway up.
(I don't think that the question of the basal avialan relationships can be
answered properly until we have identified good candidates for the long-tailed
ancestry of all "pygostylians". Hence the need to reanalyze the long-tailed
guys together with _Xiaotingia_ and basal members of the 4 avialan lineages.
Particularly _Jixiangornis_ - did they include it in the _Xiaotingia_ paper?
Avialan or not? Likewise, _Yandangornis_ seems to have been all but forgotten,
but it certainly looks quite interesting these days. Has it *ever* been
The Cretaceous long-tails cannot be ancestors, they are too young. But they may
represent persisting relatives of the long-tailed ancestors of short-tailed
birds. They might wreck the hypothesis of the _Xiaotingia_ description.
Trying to get as close as possible to the toothed ancestor of _Confuciusornis_,
and to the long-tailed ancestor of _Passer_ and _Enantiornis_, that is the
Does anyone have a copy of the _Xiaotingia_ and _Shenshiornis_ descriptions
BTW? I just realized I was so tied up with glacial-era speciation in the Amazon
that I actually never grabbed the latter.
Thanks in advance,