Joined: May 2006
note this reply, as it cites some studies on point:
|Posted by GFA on December 2, 2005 11:58 AM (e) |
Regardless of your preference for Aves or Gauthier’s Avialae, I think everyone would agree that “birds” are those members of the clade formed by Archaeopteryx, extant birds and their most recent common ancestor. This doesnt imply that there is a huge morphological gap, only that some clade has to be birds, and historically, its been that one.
As far as the evidence for Archaeopteryx being closer to birds than traditionally non-avian maniraptorans, thats almost always the result of phylogenetic analysis. Two recent papers (Makovicky et al. 2005 and this here paper) have birds that fall out as deinonychosaurians, but really only one (Maryanska et al. 2002) has found some tradtionally non-avian dinosaurs are birds. In each of these instances, there are very good reasons to be cautious of the results, but particularly the last two.
But who knows. More taxa and/or more characters could change that. At least, lets wait until those studies are in before shaking up the maniraptoran tree.
..and this was also a thread that had a few experts on the subject drop by to comment like Holtz, check Comment #61149.
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