Lesothosaurus is a rhynchosaur…Henodus is a turtle…and other misfits by default nesting.

I have often noted the “by default” nesting of pterosaurs and Vancleavea in the archosaurs, when the larger gamut study indicates they nest elsewhere, with lizards and thalattosaurs, respectively. I can speak with authority here because the large reptile tree represents the only large test of these misfit nestings based on smaller studies that excluded the actual related forms.

When you have a very large gamut family tree with full resolution,
you can play with it to your heart’s content. 
Earlier I removed all lepidosauromorphs – but turtles and pterosaurs – and noted that they nested together within the Enaliosauria, the marine archosauromorphs. Turtles and pterosaurs??? This odd bit of nesting should have been taken:
1) as a lesson in trying to shoehorn in taxa that clearly do not belong together, like pterosaurs and archosaurs. Yet, given the opportunity to nest with dinosaurs or archosaurs, by virtue of eliminating all fenestrasaurs, all tritosaurs and all lepidosaurs, pterosaurs STILL went with their closest relatives, according tothe large reptile tree: turtles.
2) and to add insult to injury, within the new Archosauromorpha, pterosaurs nested with pachypleurosaurs, a marine taxa far from the archosaurs that has NEVER been under consideration before in traditional studies. It took several rounds of elimination to finally nest pterosaurs with archosaurs. That’s how bad that mismatch really is.
Here I’ll take the misfits the other way,
by removing all archosauromorphs, but one, and seeing how they nest within the Lepidosauromorpha. You might find these amusing and instructive in light of the current nesting of “strange bedfellows” discussed earlier.
Lesothosaurus, the ornithischian, nests as a sister to Hyperodapedon, the rhynchosaur.
Herrerasaurus, the theropod, nests between Trilophosaurus and Mesosuchus.
Dimetrodon, the synapsid, nests at the base of Diadectes and Orobates, and far from the putatitve synapsids, now shown to be closer to Milleretta the lepidosauromorph: Casea and Cotylorhynchus.
Plesiosaurus, the plesiosaur, nests between Adriosaurus and Boa, the pre-snake and snake.
Henodus, the placodont, nests with Proganochelys, the turtle, even without any carapace or plastron characters in the matrix.
Obviously all these nestings are bogus,
but you wouldn’t know that unless you realized they nested with widely known excluded taxa. Some nestings, like Caseasauria with Synapsidsida and mesosaurs with pareiasaurs are also widely known and accepted, but they’re wrong. They cannot be confirmed with the large reptile tree.
These experiments show how wrong things can go when you try to mix pterosaurs with archosaurs, etc. etc. etc.
Sorry to keep harping on a sour note,
but a whole raft of professional paleontologists really needs to forget tradition and start testing for ALL possibilities before assuming an inclusion set is valid. Otherwise, all you get are the “strange bedfellows” we discussed earlier in a 9-part series starting here. This professional quagmire really needs to come to an end.
Thanks to TK for suggesting something like these experiments in phylogeny.

As always, I encourage readers to see specimens, make observations and come to your own conclusions. Test. Test. And test again.

Evidence and support in the form of nexus, pdf and jpeg files will be sent to all who request additional data.