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Matthew Troutman wrote:
> Do you mean when you talk about the tarsomeatarsus the one seen in 
>ornithuraes? The kind of metatarsus seen in Archaeopteryx and is the 
>same one as the one in enantiornthines.
        Here's a question for the bird workers out there. Hou, Martin, Zhou
and Feduccia make a big deal about similarities (that sound like
symplesiomorphies) between the metatarsus of _Archaeopteryx_ and
Enantiornithes. Now, let's ignore for a second that they managed to code
their characters in such a way that this conformation was treated as a
seperate evolutionary novelty unrelated to the neornithine tarsometatarsus.
Let's also ignore polarity for the time being:

        Is the metatarsus of _Archaeopteryx_ more similar to that of the
Enantiornithes? Wellnhoffer (_Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pterosaurs_) says
that archie's metatarsus was unfused, has this been refuted? Is there
something I'm not seeing here?

        Now, add polarity back in. If archie's metatarsus is more silimlar
to that of the Enantiornithes, how does it compare to that of a suitable
outgroup (e.g. Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae, etc.). Bear in mind that Hou
et al.'s outgroup choice (_Petrolacosaurus_) is undoubtedly unsuitable for a
proper phylogenetic analysis.

    Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
        "Chimp here does the killing." - Doug Mackenzie