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Re: definition of "reptile"

I think David Schwimmer is basically on the right track here, and in  
fact he is speaking for what seems to be a majority of  
paleontologists and vertebrate zoologists. As I see it, the biggest  
problem with talking about "reptiles" isn't so much that this is a  
paraphyletic group (because it traditionally excludes birds), but  
that the term often has been used to refer to any and all Paleozoic  
or early Mesozoic amniotes no matter how little they have to do with  
proper diapsids. For example, things like early synapsids and  
parareptiles (procolophonids, pareiasaurs, probably turtles) are  
often called "reptiles." If people would just be consistent and call  
all amniotes OR all diapsids "reptiles," we could perhaps substitute  
Reptilia for either Amniota or Diapsida. But things have just gotten  
too confusing at this point - there are even some who would have the  
term "reptiles" stand for Sauropsida (Diapsida + turtles). Therefore,  
I agree that we should just drop the term completely.