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Re: Birds and dinosaurs



George,
   Your comments on the use of the Linnaean System hit the nail on the head
as far as I am concerned! I have never been able to accept the strictures of
monophyly that the cladists insist on. As you said,  "who cares?" if
suprspecific ranks are artificial. I don't and I agree with you,  it helps me
to keep score but  I  do not accept the "birds ARE dinosaurs"  scenario
instead opting for the birds are the  closest living relatives to the
dinosaurs approach. Despite my differences, I am not against the use of
cladistics where smaller branches are concerned such as the theropoda,
sauropodamorpha, ornithopoda and various subsets of each. I feel cladistics
is better suited for such smaller scaled though higher resolution
applications. Large "gross" clades seem to confuse the overall picture. 

                                     Regards,
                                     Thomas R. Lipka
                                     Paleontological/Geological Studies