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Re: NEW CUBAN CACIBUPTERYX and NESODACTYLUS skeletal drawings



Dear List,
It's great to socialize here the biodiversity of Jurassic vertebrates in Cuba. 
As I've written here sometimes, Devianart is a great source of draws and it 
contains a few very good life restorations of the Cuban Oxfordian animals, 
including a variety of fish and reptiles, but few restorations or skeletal 
drawings of these animals can be found on the Internet, and in my personal 
opinion many researchers pay little attention to this fauna. 

For me, this paleofauna is remarkable for its great diversity and because it 
belongs to a very, very small interval within the Late Oxfordian and produce 
amazing black specimens in 3D. However, apart from the papers of Gasparini and 
Iturralde few years ago, very little is currently investigating on this topic. 
I personally visited the well-located paleontological sites and appears to have 
hight potential to discover many other fossils, but the lack of funds makes it 
impossible expeditions and research. 

best regards,


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Yasmani Ceballos Izquierdo 
Cuban Late Jurassic (Middle-Late Oxfordian) researcher 



----- Mensaje original -----
De: "David Marjanovic" <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
Para: "DML" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Enviados: Miércoles, 30 de Marzo 2011 6:25:19 GMT -04:00 Georgetown
Asunto: Re: NEW CUBAN CACIBUPTERYX and NESODACTYLUS skeletal drawings

>  today I found these two Cuban pteros skeletal drawings:
>
>  http://www.reptileevolution.com/cacibupteryx.htm
>  http://reptileevolution.com/nesodactylus.htm
>
>  The Nesodactylus skeletal drawing is pretty good. Anyone of you know
>  the author of these drawings?

The author isn't mentioned on those pages, but then I saw the side bars. 
They assign lots of Paleozoic tetrapods to Archosauromorpha or 
Lepidosauromorpha.

Then it dawned on me:

This is David Peters' site.

When his manuscript on his analysis of amniote phylogeny was rejected, 
he didn't do what normal people do -- try to get the problems out of the 
manuscript and the analysis, and resubmit --; instead, he put his stuff 
on the web.

His name doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere except at the bottom of 
this page: http://www.reptileevolution.com/about.htm

Indeed, the top of that same page claims: "_This website is a big 
colaboration [sic]._ This site would not have been possible without the 
hundreds of paleontologists, preparators, paleoartists and editors who 
discovered, exposed, reconstructed and published the taxa presented 
here." This is utterly misleading; of course Peters stands on the 
shoulders of giants, but to present them as his coauthors, as if that 
website were a collaboration project by the entire field and thus 
presented the broadest possible consensus, is just not honest.

Also on that page, Peters says:

"_Sometimes I'm wrong._ Sometimes others are wrong. Most of the 
discoveries herein were made simply by expanding the taxon list. In 
other cases purported autapomorphies turned out to be misinterpretations 
(exemplified by my published mistakes with Cosesaurus [link] and 
Sharovipteryx [link]). If you find misinterpretations here, or new data 
becomes available, please contact me [link: info@reptileevolution.com ]. 
It's more important to get it right than to be right. Credit will be given!"

That's nice, but completely impracticable, because to seriously dig into 
the problems in Peter's tetrapod analysis would be a MSc thesis or more. 
Peters relies on his photointerpretation technique (read: naked, 
shameless pareidolia), does not even try to avoid correlated characters, 
and, well, there are "210 taxa and 228 characters" -- that's _way too 
few characters_ for so many taxa. I'm currently working on a matrix with 
102 or 111 taxa (I added 9) and 289 parsimony-informative characters 
(down from 333, because so many were correlated), and even for this much 
smaller number of taxa I am reminded all the time that lots of 
important-looking characters are not in the matrix...

Maybe I'll just mention that Kat Pawley's (2006) thesis claims that 
*Casineria*, which was described as a close relative of Amniota, is 
indistinguishable from *Caerorhachis*, which could be the sister-group 
to all other temnospondyls or even outside the 
temnospondyl-seymouriamorph-diadectomorph-amniote-lepospondyl clade. In 
the matrix I'm working on (see my thesis, 2010), they are indeed 
indistinguishable. Not having seen the fossils, I'm not going to 
formally synonymize them (never mind that I don't want to scoop Pawley 
either), but somebody should have a long, hard look at them.

When I treat *Casineria* and *Caerorhachis* as the same taxon, it comes 
out where I just said *Caerorhachis* alone does.