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Reply to Li et al. "Is Oculudentavis a bird or even archosaur?"

By Jingmai O’Connor, Lida Xing, Luis Chiappe, Lars Schmitz, Gang Li, Qiru Yi

Posted 14 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.12.147041

We welcome any new interpretation or alternative hypothesis regarding the taxonomic affinity of the enigmatic Oculudentavis khaungraae. However, here we demonstrate that Li et al. have failed to provide conclusive evidence for the reidentification of HPG-15-3 as a squamate. We analyse this specimen in a matrix that includes a broad sample of diapsid reptiles and resolve support for this identification only when no avian taxa are included. Regardless of whether this peculiar skull belongs to a tiny bird or to a bizarre new group of lizards, the holotype of Oculudentavis khaungraae is a very interesting and unusual specimen, the discovery of which represents an important contribution to palaeontology. Its discovery documents a potential new case of convergent evolution in reptiles, while highlighting the importance of amber deposits for documenting taxa not recorded in sedimentary deposits. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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