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RE: At long last! Turner, Makovicky & Norell on dromaeosaurids

Having just reviewed the paper in question on my blog 
 I agree with most of Jaime's complaints and have a few comments.

"*Falcarius utahensis* -- which was both cited and the analysis of Zanno et al. 
which was produced in respect to it also cited -- was not included."

I agree this was stupid.  Turner's excuse from his thesis is "Falcarius 
utahensis and Beipiaosaurus inexpectus were studied first hand for this project 
but were not included because of overlap with an ongoing project (L. Zanno)."  
I don't see how Zanno's studying therizinosaurs should matter for their 
inclusion in an unpublished thesis with different character list.  Or why he 
couldn't add Falcarius for publication since Zanno's studies are all published 
now.  He added Haplocheirus after all.

"Despite this, *Juravenator starki* and MPC-D 100/44 (as "IGM 100/44") are 
included, but also juvenile and may, in fact, be perinates, while *Mei long* 
doesn't fare much older on the basis of neurocentral fusion and a lack of 
concensus on how to assess "age-related" features irrespective of a 
phylogenetic consideration (that is, outside of concerns for which group 
certain features are "diagnostic" for)."

Indeed.  Numerous non-adults were included, such as Archaeopteryx, 
Microvenator, Coelurus, Eotyrannus and Huaxiagnathus.

"*Citipati osmolskae* apparently isn't an oviraptorid, or *Chirostenotes 
pergracilis* is one. Either way, both species cluster to the exclusion of other 
taxa in the oviraptorid section of Turner et al.'s analysis, and through 
virtually all permutations."

First, as I noted in my review, Turner's "Citipati osmolskae" OTU is a chimaera 
of IGM 100/42 for the original TWG characters, and actual Citipati osmolskae 
for the Clarke-based and other new characters.  Second, besides a few from the 
original TWG matrix of Norell et al. (2001), no characters in this paper were 
intended to classify oviraptorosaurs.  So lots of weird oviraptorosaurian 
topologies have existed in various TWG matrices.  Just look at the original 
that had Caudipteryx as an oviraptorid, though this was due to miscodings 
 That said, their list of synapomorphies for nodes is clearly wrong, as 
characters 35, 40 and 41 for example are listed as supporting the 
Chirostenotes+Citipati node, but are coded as unknown for Chirostenotes.  So 
more sloppiness there.

Incidentally, the non-monophyletic Scansoriopterygidae is also caused at least 
in part by not including the suggested synapomorphies.  So it shouldn't be seen 
as meaning much.

"Turner et al. conflate *Protarchaeopteryx robusta* into *Incisivosaurus 
gauthieri*; it is not simply a matter of treating them as a single collective 
of species, but as a single species, but with the _wrong_ species as the label 
for both -- *Protarchaeopteryx robusta* was named in 1997; *Incisivosaurus 
gauthieri* in 2002."

Protarchaeopteryx is only mentioned twice, as separate from Incisivosaurus, and 
was not coded or used for Incisivosaurus' codings.  This lack of using 
Protarchaeopteryx is an important flaw and odd considering taxa much less 
relevent to paravian phylogeny like Tarbosaurus were added.

"*Chirostenotes pergracilis* is coded for extensive cranial material, so it is 
presumed the skull is coded not just from ROM 43250 but also from CM 78000 and 
78001, the "Triebold" or "Hell Creek oviraptorosaur" (see here for discussion: 
 but especially here: 

Nope, their Chirostenotes OTU is the same as in Norell et al. (2001), 
containing ROM 43250 but not CM 78000 or 78001.

Mickey Mortimer