Evolution of the Dinosaurs YouTube video by Manabu Sakamoto PhD

One of Dr. Sakamoto’s major interests is “How did major groups of animals radiate?” So we have similar interests. This slide show lecture apparently on ZOOM (or a similar format) is 56 minutes in duration and was streamed live March … Continue reading

Falcatakely: a basal theropod, not a bird

Updated November 11, 2021 with another look at candidate sister taxa. O’Connor et al. 2020 present a late surviving, Late Cretaceous basal theropod dinosaur lacking maxillary teeth, Falcatakely forsterae (Figs. 1–4). The authors reconstructed their crushed and slightly disarticulated fossil … Continue reading

Mid-sized Changyuraptor nests between big Ornitholestes and small Microraptor in the LRT

Han et al. 2014 brought us a new feathered theropod, Changyuraptor yangi (Aptian, Early Cretaceous, HG B016). In the large reptile tree (LRT, 1720+ taxa) Changyuraptor nests between a bigger Ornitholestes and a smaller Microraptor… in that order (from big to medium to small). By … Continue reading

New ‘Evolution of Feathers’ book already outdated due to taxon exclusion

‘The Evolution of Feathers’ (Foth and Rauhut editors 2020) is a new book the genesis of feathers and the animals that developed them. The following is a brief critique of abstracts from the 12 chapters. From the introduction “For years … Continue reading

Let’s take out all Solnhofen birds except Archaeopteryx from the LRT

Traditional cladograms include only one Solnhofen bird, typically labeled Archaeopteryx. Whether they use the holotype specimen or not, I don’t know. Earlier the large reptile tree (LRT, subsets Figs. 1, 2) added several Solnhofen birds, many workers continue to call … Continue reading

Let’s talk about the pygostyle in birds

…because Wang and O’Connor 2017 just wrote a paper on pygostyle evolution. From their abstract: “The transformation from a long reptilian tail to a shortened tail ending in a pygostyle and accompanied by aerodynamic fanning rectrices is one of the most … Continue reading