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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, david.marjanovic@gmx.at writes:

<< [GP] suggested in the Field Guide that oviraptorosaurs are secondarily
 flightless descendents of omnivoropterygids, although that requires 
considerable
 pelvic reversals.

[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 
very 
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 
crazy - 
like a fox. 

GSPaul

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