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Re: Huge morphological analysis reconfirms deep branch relationships among Squamates.
"However, when we include snakes, but exclude other snake-like
squamates (limb-reduced lizards with more than 50 presacral
vertebrae), mosasaurians join snakes as sister to total-clade
<Homer Simpson>Boooooooooring!!!</Homer Simpson>
> Where are *Marmoretta* and *Huehuecuetzpalli*?
and the basalmost pan-squamate respectively.
Ah, great, that confirms the teeny tiny analysis in the original paper.
The looming issue for Mesozoic dinosaur workers like us is whether
our similarly extensive analyses are just feeding out convergence.
Are coelurosaurs just small tetanurines? Are Paul or Kurochkin right
about polyphyletic birds? Are spinosaurines just convergent with
barchonychines due to diet?
Most of these would surprise me, because the taxon sample for theropods
(at least) is better. As far as squamates go, not only are many known
ones not included in the latest analyses, but many of them are known
from extremely fragmentary remains, and all of them together still leave
long ghost lineages all over the place even in the trees with the best
I can't wait for the feathered megalosaur, though.