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Re: Ah ha! That's where therizinosaurs came from



On Aug 12, 2011, at 2:14 PM, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
> We may not be able to specify actual ancetors (i.e., the very populations who 
> represent the actual gametes gave rise
> to a later lineage), but we can sometimes specify ancestral STATES. (I.e., it 
> would be perverse in the extreme to specify that the
> ancestor of all tetrapods was volant, or that the ancestor of all 
> gnathostomes was terrestrial).

Right, right, of course, by using ancestral state analysis. This is what Alan 
Turner et al. did on the Mahakala paper, in determining that small body size 
arose at the base of Paraves, before aerodynamic behaviors. He used 
optimization analysis, correct? He writes that he used TNT v1.0, a method 
developed by Goloboff (2003). He writes that this method is related to Wagner 
parsimony  and Sankoff optimization.

So I wonder why some enterprising fellow out there hasn't tested the 
neoflightless hypothesis for non-avian maniraptorans with ancestral state 
analysis? They could do it with the old TWG cladogram and the new Xiaotingia 
cladogram and see how it shakes out.