Drymala and Zanno 2016 returned to their description of Carnufex,
(Fig. 1) a partial disarticulated basal crocodylomorph they published on a year earlier (Zanno, Drymala, Nesbitt and Schneider 2015; Fig. 2).
There is also a strange data problem here.
The 2015 paper included a reconstruction (Fig. 2) with a smaller lacrimal. The 2016 paper includes data and a reconstruction (Fig. 1) with a larger lacrimal.
their 2016 cladogram (Fig. 3) omitted several taxa key to understanding Carnufex and the clade Crocodylomorpha in the large reptile tree (LRT, 1697+ taxa; subset Fig. 4). For instance, in the LRT only Dinosauromorpha + Crocodylomorpha combine to form the clade Archosauria. So one wonders why no basal dinosaurs appear in the 2016 cladogram. Worse yet, a large number of basal bipedal crocodylomorphs are absent (list below in red at left).
After all the scoring changes
the prior nesting in the LRT of Carnufex with Pseudhesperosuchus (Fig. 5) remains the same, evidence that sometimes changes are not that important taxonomically.
In the LRT
dinosaurs are the closest outgroup to the basal bipedal crocs. In the LRT Pseudhesperosuchus is the closest taxon to Carnufex. Together these exclusions from the two Carnufex papers are errors of omission that change some hypothetical relationships.
If you’re going to use a comprehensive list of pertinent taxa,
it’s best to figure out first which taxa are the most pertinent. That’s the value of the LRT, where more taxa solve more problems here than more characters and fewer taxa do in smaller studies. You can always delete unrelated taxa once you have the proper phylogenetic context and wish to increase the focus of your study.
Drymala SM and Zanno LE 2016. Osteology of Carnufex carolinensis (Archosauria: Psuedosuchia) from the Pekin Formation of North Carolina and Its Implications for Early Crocodylomorph Evolution. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0157528. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157528
Zanno LE, Drymala S, Nesbitt SJ and Schneider VP 2015. Early Crocodylomorph increases top tier predator diversity during rise of dinosaurs. Scientific Reports 5:9276 DOI: 10.1038/srep09276.