Saturday, April 17, 2010


Panel One
Remex: Thanks for the help last time, Ebeff.

Panel Two
Ebeff: No problem, Remex. We oviraptoriforms need to stick together.

Panel Three
Remex: Um, did I ever tell you that Oviraptoriformes is polyphyletic?

Panel Four
Ebeff: Is that so?

Panel Five
Ebeff: That's okay.

Panel Six
At least we're still enigmosaurs!

Remex and Ebeff comics tend to be more of phylogenetic in jokes rather than more traditional humor. At one point oviraptorosaurs and therizinosaurs were thought to be each others' closest relatives, but later studies showed this was wrong. At the time, the Oviraptorosauria + Therizinosauria group was known as either Oviraptoriformes or Enigmosauria.

By the way, if anyone's still confused about who's who in Raptormaniacs, I drew a (helpful?) dramatis personae.


  1. Refresh my memory: What's the difference between polyphyly and paraphyly?

    On a related note: We really need to see R&E more often.

  2. The way I remember the two is that paraphyly is like traditional "Reptilia" (lepidosaurs, crocodilians, and turtles, but not birds, even though some "reptiles" are closer to birds than to other "reptiles"), polyphyly is like "endotherms" (mammals, birds, and some "fish", but not their common ancestor or the various ectothermic side branches). Paraphyly excludes some descendants in a group, polyphyly includes multiple lineages but not their common ancestor.

    I am quite fond of Remex and Ebeff myself, so they're certainly going to be showing up more. (And Remex gets center stage in last year's Christmas special.)

  3. Ah. So would "Oviraptoroformes" be paraphyletic as well? Therizinosaurs and oviraptorosaurs did share an ancestor... but it was also shared with alvarezsauroids and paravians.

    What led to them being classed as sister groups, anyway?


  4. It's polyphyletic as it includes two separate branches, rather than includes everything in a clade except one branch.

    Oviraptorosaurs and therizinosaurs had some similarities, such as leaf-shaped teeth.

  5. Doesn't Mickey Mortimer still find Enigmosauria?


    1. As I understand it, the phylogeny given on the Theropod Database is a composite based on various sources in the literature, not the result of an independent analysis.