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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.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661