Once again, like the Pterosaur Origins Wiki page, some well-meaning, but misinformed author/expert on the Sharovipteryx Wiki page claimed that I did not observe the fossil firsthand (which is false) and that my phylogenetic analysis of Sharovipteryx (still the only one in any academic publication in the last 14 years) had less validity than what paleontologists “generally agree”. Yes, in this age of verifiable nestings, can you believe this return to the vagaries of the 1960s? (Actually I think this only occurs when my name is present).
The author/expert claimed that I am not a scientist (ignoring academic publications in 6 or 7 journals now) and put his faith in Bennett’s claim made in a popular publication that my tracings were fantasies (once again, mining the wastebasket). Yes, I made those mistakes, but the new work puts all that crap in the wastebasket, where it should stay.
Wiki is generally for information, not for casting aspersions on others. So, when an alternate and testable hypothesis is presented, it is not necessary that the author of that hypothesis be trashed. Simply present the facts. Not the bias, please.
I made changes to the Sharovipteryx Wiki page that stick to the readily observable and testable facts. Let’s see if those changes stick.
If that author/expert wants to put his faith in Chris Bennett, Lord help him. Bennett has made dozens of mistakes, including purposefully creating a fantasy (by his own admission) pterosaur precursor (Bennett 2008), rather than to test any of the hundreds of currently known reptile candidates in phylogenetic analysis, as I have here. And 2008 Bennett had a short list provided by Peters (2000), which he ignored. I tested his 1996 paper by adding a few taxa. Turnabout would have been very welcome.
We’re all guilty. Let’s move forward people. Please, use the latest information and keep the focus on the taxa, not the person. I put all my data in viewable, testable photos and am more than happy to make corrections when made available.
Sharovipteryx is a complete fossil with many uncontroversial traits shared with Cosesaurus and pterosaurs. Those traits are going unpromoted in Wiki and I think it’s because some people think I’ve poisoned the well in publishing on it without having a PhD. They have to tip-toe around my peer-reviewed publications and they have to trash me because if they started listed characters, they’d soon find out what anyone can find out. Perhaps that’s why no one had published another analysis of Sharovipteryx in the last 14 years. And it’s ripe for a revision because I made several mistakes with it, even firsthand.
Remember, Hone and Benton (2007, 2008) tossed Sharovipteryx out in their search for a pterosaur precursor. Same thinking. Same result.
If you’re thinking of Senter’s (2003) dissertation (which the Wiki author/expert cited), in which he nested Sharovipteryx with Cosesaurus, but pterosaurs with Scleromochlus, take a good look at his scorings. He gave Scleromochlus a sternal complex and a long lateral pedal digit, both of which are absent on it and any sister taxa — among dozens of other rookie mistakes.
Bennett S.C. 1996. The phylogenetic position of the Pterosauria within the Archosauromorpha. Zoo. J. Linn. Soc. 118: 261-309.
Bennett S.C. 2008. Morphological evolution of the forelimb of pterosaurs: myology and function. In: Buffetaut E. and Hone D.W.E. (Eds) – Flugsaurier: pterosaur papers in honour of Peter Wellnhofer. Zit., B28: 127-141.
Peters D. 2000. A Redescription of Four Prolacertiform Genera and Implications for Pterosaur Phylogenesis. Riv. It. Paleo. Strat. 106(3): 293-336.