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Re: Birds and dinosaurs
As many of you already know, I basically agree with Olshevsky on this.
[In fact the posting from sci.bio.paleontology he quotes may well be
in part a response to something I posted there!]
One additional reason I have for rejecting the strict cladistic
position is that when using the "Linnaean" approach changes in
the best available phylogeny do not necessarily require a change
in the classification. This leads to more stable taxonomy, and thus
to a more usable taxonomy.
For instance, there was a suggestion made in one journal that
the troodontids are the closest sister group to birds, while most
other analyses conclude that the dromaeosaurids are the closest
sister group to the birds. In a "Linnaean" taxonomy in which
birds are a seperate class these two cldograms lead to the exact
same classification. This allows for a more stable delimitation
of all three groups.
The peace of God be with you.