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Re: [dinosaur] Anthracosauroid Eldeceeon redescribed + Permian discosauriscid fossil sites in Czech Republic
I'm very happy to see the *Eldeceeon* paper published; it has been longed for
since 1994. What I don't understand is why the authors call *Eldeceeon* an
"anthracosauroid" and put that word in the keywords. They never use the form
Anthracosauroideae (sic â feminine, like in botany); that name grouped the
actual anthracosaurs and the seymouriamorphs together, and such a grouping is
not supported in the text or the phylogenetic analysis of this paper or any
other of the last 20 years, if not 25.
The interpretation of the biomechanics is odd, too: isn't a hindlimb-assisted
tail-propelled swimmer (like the later *Microbrachis*, admittedly a much
smaller animal) much more likely than a cursorial land animal with nothing to
run after, nothing to run from, and nothing to keep its half-cartilaginous
vertebral column from sagging and getting dangerously compressed in all kinds
of ways? The strangest part is where the lack of ossified carpals is suggested
to be a weight-saving adaptation to terrestrial running despite not being found
in _any_ terrestrial runners but being common in aquatic animals of this size.
The interpretation of *Eldeceeon* (and Anthracosauria, to which it doesn't
belong) as belonging to the amniote total group is just barely supported by the
phylogenetic analysis, and even then only if it is presupposed that the
lissamphibians are temnospondyls, which the analysis does not test.