December 21 marks the first year anniversary of ReptileEvolution.com, the basis and chief reference for the PterosaurHeresies.com. ReptileEvolution.com was created to get the word out on the various mistakes and oversights in the current literature. These errors were found principally by testing them against the relationships recovered from the large reptile family tree. Some morphological insights were also reported. Proper nestings and great papers were given all due honor.
Frustration, the Mother of all Invention
As mentioned on the “About” page, the impetus for the creation of ReptileEvolution.com came about after getting one last manuscript rejected at the hands of various pterosaur experts who did not want my work to make it into the literature. Yes, my work opposed theirs and suppression was their motive. Sadly, they continue to prefer untenable nestings and bizarre descriptions.
Turned Out to Be a Good Thing!
Had those manuscripts been accepted, the published papers would have languished in quiet isolation on college library shelves, like most papers do. Now the data and results enjoy free worldwide exposure and access. Rather than standard black and white printed imagery, the web permits full color with video overlays and animation. The speed of reporting has been accelerated. Here, updates, additions and corrections take less than a day.
The Tree Keep Growing
A year ago the reptile tree stood at some 230 taxa, not counting the pterosaur tree, which stood at 165 or so taxa. Today the reptile tree includes 279 taxa, the pterosaur tree includes 180 taxa and the basal therapsid tree includes 39 taxa for rough total of about 500 taxa, give or take some overlap and estimating as I write this 2 weeks prior to uploading. All trees are resolved with high Bremer Test scores. I’m pleased to report that workers are requesting the data matrix for their own studies.
The structure of the tree has not changed so far, despite the influx of 20% more taxa. That’s a good test. Certain taxa have shifted a node or two. That happened as I found mistakes in the matrix that were corrected while uploading new taxa. Correcting mistakes and oversights is the process of science.
The Insights Have Been Very Rewarding
The results speak for themselves. The feedback has been gratifying. The process has been more than interesting. Nothing beats making a discovery!
Thank you for following this blog and checking out the data presented in ReptileEvolution.com. I value your input and will continue to modify any statements and images that are not right on the mark.
Here’s to a great future in prehistory!