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Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy"
In a message dated 7/28/11 4:06:24 PM, email@example.com writes:
<< [GP] suggested in the Field Guide that oviraptorosaurs are secondarily
flightless descendents of omnivoropterygids, although that requires
[DM] Stay tuned.
While I'm on this, it is a pecuilar feature of the main Xu et al cladogram
that at the base the taxa are short tailed Early Cretaceous taxa, which
implies that the Late Jurassic archaeopterygids reevolved long tails. Me very,
very doubtful about that, its a real stretch. This sort of thing is one
reason I won't do cladograms since I would not be willing to publish what is
probably an errant result like that. I mean really, I'd be embarrassed and
would have to spend a good chunk of the paper ranting about how its probably
not true. I'm not kidding. What would I do if a cladogram I ran came up
with results that did just not appear to make sense as they fairly often do,
publish it and call it a load of crap? Best avoid such awkward situations.
Anyhow, it is much more likely that deinonychosaurs were basal to the short
tailed dinobirds, with LJ archaeopterygids being basal to later deinonychosaurs
that were either better adapted for flight or secondarily flightless. Then
came along the short tailed fliers which spun off short tailed nonfliers.
Just makes more sense to me. If so then the beginnings of dinoavian flight was
pretty predaceous, and then went more herbivorous. Call me screwy for
prefering phylogenetic-temporal logic and instinct over computer character
crunching, but that's what got me to were I am today so I don't mind being
like a fox.