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Re: [dinosaur] Evolution of giant flightless birds (free pdf)
> Ben Creisler
> A new paper:
> (Note regarding the recently proposed Vegaviidae.....
> "A fourth clade is represented by the Cretaceous Vegavis (Antarctica), which
> was strongly excluded from Anseriformes")
And there, in Table 1, we have the first published misunderstanding of
Vegaviidae as a family: "family vegaviidae agnolin et al. ". (Bizarrely,
the entire table is in lowercase.) Reference 97, the paper by Agnolin et al.,
isn't cited anywhere else in the paper, evidently because it came out too
recently; yet, the same Table 1 names "order vegaviiformes new taxon".
Not that that matters; orders are by definition as informal as Vegaviidae.
Apart from such basics as the letter inventory, the ICZN only regulates the
species group, genus group and family group of ranks. Even priority does not
apply to orders, classes or phyla; thus, for example, the choice between
Ceratosauria Owen, 1888, and Ceratosauria Marsh, 1884, is one of (universal)
While I'm at it, I'm afraid that Article 32.5.1 is intended as extremely narrow
in application; the example given is naming a species "ninnaei" and saying it's
named after Linnaeus. A dictionary, or other knowledge of a language, is
probably considered "external information". However, the existence of the
spelling *Vesperopterylus* in the same paper means that this issue is moot;
instead, a First Reviser is needed, and that person can simply choose
*Vesperopterylus* as the correct spelling without even mentioning a reason as
far as I understand Art. 24.2, especially 24.2.3:
"If a name is spelled in more than one way in the original work, the first
author to have cited them together and to have selected one spelling as correct
is the First Reviser. The selected spelling (if not incorrect under Articles
32.4. or 32.5) is thereby fixed as the correct original spelling; any other
spelling is incorrect (and therefore unavailable [Art. 32.4])."
On lysorophians being amniotes, well... I just ran another analysis and keep
getting them outside of Amniota (though, as previously, closer than the
seymouriamorphs). My matrix lacks practically any braincase characters; the
matrix of Pardo et al. (2017) has plenty of them, but lacks any taxa except
those with a lot of braincase data, which eliminates almost all supposed
lepospondyls (together with plenty of early amniotes); neither their matrix nor
mine (nor any other) contains characters related to the plesiomorphic
hyobranchial apparatus of lysorophians, which would not be very odd in a larval
salamander (except for being so well ossified) or for that matter a juvenile
temnospondyl, but looks quite out of place in an amniote. And while
lysorophians lack scales (bone plates in the dermis, as in "fish"; epidermal
scales as in sauropsids are something else!), no matrix has yet included the
dorsal scales which are retained in a wide variety of "microsaurs" (including
some in the matrix of Pardo et al.) but not in any uncontroversial amniote.
(The ventral scales are retained as gastralia, however.) Phylogenetics with
morphological data is a huge amount of work, and we're going to see more of it
over the next... many years.