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Re: Re: Synapsids are NOT reptiles!
>The fact that the common fish-tetrapod ancestor would undoubtedly be called
>and classified as a fish by any rational observer had the tetrapods never
>evolved makes no difference to cladistic taxonomy. The dogma of monophyletic
>taxa produces some pretty contorted neologisms.
Since "Fish" is a vernacular, English word, it does not need to follow any
set of taxonomic rules. However, ichthyologists have LONG ago abandoned
"Pisces", realizing it was as uninformative a term as "Invertebrata".
However, both tetrapods and "fish" are vertebrates, and all agree that
Vertebrata is a useful monophyletic clade.
[Geez, I don't see to many of the anticladistic faction out there arguing for
keeping "Invertebrata", or "Animalia" sensu General Public (all animals but
humans). I wonder why?]
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742