Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Senter Strikes Again

Senter shows that Maniraptors are not related to dinosaurs:
"Creationist literature claims that sufficient gaps in morphological continuity exist to classify dinosaurs into several distinct baramins (‘created kinds’). Here, I apply the baraminological method called taxon correlation to test for morphological continuity within and between dinosaurian taxa. The results show enough morphological continuity within Dinosauria to consider most dinosaurs genetically related, even by this creationist standard. A continuous morphological spectrum unites the basal members of Saurischia, Theropoda, Sauropodomorpha, Ornithischia, Thyreophora, Marginocephalia, and Ornithopoda with Nodosauridae and Pachycephalosauria and with the basal ornithodirans Silesaurus and Marasuchus. Morphological gaps in the known fossil record separate only seven groups from the rest of Dinosauria. Those groups are Therizinosauroidea + Oviraptorosauria + Paraves [all of which are Maniraptors],  Tazoudasaurus + Eusauropoda, Ankylosauridae, Stegosauria, Neoceratopsia, basal Hadrosauriformes and Hadrosauridae.
Each of these seven groups [one of which is Maniraptors] exhibits within-group morphological continuity, indicating common descent for all the group’s members, even according to this creationist standard.

Maniraptors are not related to actual dinosaurs, such as Compsognathus and Tyrannosaurus  (ie. not related to "non-maniraptor coelurosaurs").
Maniraptors (ie. birds) developed from pterosaurs.

Figure 15.  Summary of results of taxon correlation analyses across Dinosauria. Each boxed group of silhouettes indicates a group for which taxon correlation found within-group morphological continuity; for silhouette groups in different boxes, taxon correlation found morphological discontinuity between the groups. Dotted lines represent uncertainty as to whether morphological discontinuity is truly present (see Discussion). On the cladogram, triangles indicate paraphyletic groups.