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Re: Caudipteryx suffered from osteoarthritis

 It is not the reviewers' job to actually perform science for the

It is their -- unpaid -- job to make sure the science has either been performed or the manuscript is rejected.

 , or be the one's to make sure the authors are performing science
 when commenting on a philosophical nature about which of of what I
 called "the golden line" a taxon is on. Whether the authors call
 *Caudipteryx zoui* a bird is not, I think, up to scientific purview,

Like Matt Martyniuk, you're misunderstanding this issue. Their concept of "bird" includes "not a dinosaur, and not descended from a dinosaur". _That_ is _not_ a purely nomenclatural issue, it's a phylogenetic and thus scientific one.

BTW, I've never heard of penguins being considered "fish". Of course, they still look like birds, what with their beaks, feathers, theropod feet, lack of tail fin and all.

 As for sentence length, I've seen longer. Some literature blokes seem
 to enjoy trying to outdo one another in forming incredibly long
 sentences. This one just turned out that way because I was using
 perentheses and long dashes to break the sentence up.

Not all sentences of such length are difficult to understand. But most are, and that one was. Stop trying to defend your lack of editing.

Really. The first thing my thesis supervisor told me when I started writing scientific papers was, paraphrasing: "You _will_ be misunderstood -- by someone, somewhere, sometime --, so it's _your_ responsibility to minimize the number of opportunities for misunderstandings."