The nature of cladistics (birds and dinosaurs)

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Nov 19 17:44:22 CST 2004

on 2004-11-19 09:50 Ken Kinman wrote:
> Velociraptor and Corvus share these
> complex feathers, similar eggshell microstructure, and lots of other
> synapomorphies (which are lacking in tyrannosaurs, non-coelurosaur
> saurischians, and ornithischians).

I'm the *last* person you'd need to convince about grouping organisms by
shared apomorphies.

> They certainly seem to have failed to effectively communicate
> the big differences between tyrannosaur ancestors and velociraptor
> ancestors (structure of the feathers, eggshell microstructure,
> non-flight vs. flight, and so on).

But you've not addressed my point at all. We have to look carefully to
find the differences between Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor, but the
differences between either, or even their common ancestor, and a turtle
or cynodont are manifest and abundant.

Curtis Clark        
Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona                 +1 909 979 6371
Professor, Biological Sciences                   +1 909 869 4062

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