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RE: 11th specimen of Archaeopteryx

> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Brian Hathaway
> So ... Wikipedia is a sick puppy that probably can never be 
> cured, but can someone give me the latest/greatest paper, 
> speech, book stating what the most recent view is of where 
> Archie is?  Is it still in Aves?  Is it the majority view 
> that it is a split-off no longer in the direct line of birds? 

No definitive answers to these (except for the Aves question, which [if you use 
the definition for Aves as "all descendents of the
most recent common ancestor of all living birds", then Archaeopteryx is clearly 
NOT in Aves.

I just answered these questions for you on the list on Wednesday: 

The "Archaeopterygidae as basal Deinonychosauria" is the most recent paper with 
the most relevant taxa, but there is new data coming
in very closely related on the situation. Until we have all the significant 
taxa and all the important characters together in the
same analysis, it is difficult to determine where they go.

Basically, we all have learn to deal with this ambiguity for the moment. That 
is the BEST assessment right now.

>  And is it felt that it does have known close-ancestors in 
> the record?

Hard to assess what exactly you mean by this. Xiaotingia and Anchiornis are 
older than it, and close relatives, but there is always
a GREAT problem in determining an actual ancestor (i.e., a population in direct 
lineage) from a close relative.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA