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Re: "Dinosaurs are birds" - In defense of



>With respect to you (and I have a lot), I think you are misunderstanding
>the position that cladists and "birds are dinosaurs" proponents take.  In
>the first place, "lung-fish" and "pelycosaurs" are NOT clades; "descendants
>of lung-fish" and "descendants of pelycosaurs" ARE clades.  In the second
>place, in our desire to taxonomically place feathered flyers within the
>Dinosauria, we are NOT seeking to abolish the word "bird" from the language
>and force people to say things like "Did you see that flock of dinosaurs fly
>by?"  We merely want to create a classification scheme that emphasizes the
>fact that birds are theropod-descendants that became specialized for flight.
>As John McLoughlin says in his book _Archosauria_:
>
>"...In all, we are forced to conclude that birds are no more or less than
>dinosaurs, and that their classification outside class Archosauria [or
>Dinosauria] makes no more sense than would classifying bats outside class
>Mammalia because they, too, can fly!"

        I agree -- and I do wholeheartedly find the evidence overwhelmingly
in favor of the dinosaurian origin of birds...but there _are_ some cladists
out there who really want birds to not be "birds" but to be "theropods."
It's going just a _wee_ tad too far for my own tastes!  8-)  But hey,
that's just me...everyone's entitled to their own views!  (Heck, if
everyone agreed, it wouldn't be a science!)




Jerry D. Harris
Now Impending PhD Student
        In (Surprise!) Paleontology at
        Southern Methodist University
Internet:  jdharris@teal.csn.net
CompuServe:  73132,3372
        (and thus 73132.3372@compuserve.com)

--)::)>   '''''''''''''/O\'''''''''''`  Jpq--   =o}\   w---^/^\^o

I currently have no humorous quote to put
        in this space.

--)::)>   '''''''''''''/O\'''''''''''`  Jpq--   =o}\   w---^/^\^o