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Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy" + paper requests

evelyn sobielski <koreke77@yahoo.de> wrote:

>> 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
>> significant
>> apomorphies do we currently believe originated there?
> 1. crown group-type tail
> 2. crown-group-type growth to maturity

1. Could you specify what you mean by the "crown-group-type tail"?
2. Do we have any information about the growth of _Archaeorhynchus_?
If not, then we cannot be sure that the crown-group-type growth is
typical of _all_ euorniths; and even if we do, we can still only say
it is a synapomorphy of all _currently known_ euorniths. (This is the
reason why branch-based clades are so hard to diagnose.)

> 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.

Any avialan that is closer to the crown than _Enantiornithes_ is
itself, by definition, a member of _Euornithes_. Also,
_Ornithothoraces_ cannot be an artefact -- only its current
composition can.

Mike Keesey <keesey@gmail.com> wrote:

> I would guess that "Neornithes" is usually not even mentioned.

Surprisingly, that is not the case. I have searched for the name
_Neornithes_ in papers on molecular phylogenetics (what's more
neontological than that?) and it is used quite frequently. I've found
it in Groth & Barrowclough (1999), van Tuinen et al. (2000), Cracraft
et al. (2004), Fain & Houde (2004), Ericson et al. (2006 -- as
"neornithine birds"), Brown et al. (2008), and Wright et al. (2008).
Notice that there are some of the most important papers in the field
among them: Groth and Barrowclough managed to save the
_Palaeognathae_/_Neognathae_ dichotomy from LBA-burdened studies of
Mindell et al.; Fain and Houde gave us Metaves and Coronaves; and
Ericson et al. 2006 is the second largest phylogenetic analysis of
modern birds.
David Černý