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Re: birds are reptiles?!



 From: Tony Thulborn <paswamp@mailbox.uq.oz.au>
 > 
 > So what exactly is a reptile?  Phylogentically, either nothing, or all 
 > amniotes.  So reptile = amniote.

This is only true if youy are a strict cladist.

If you admit that a group can be phylogenetically meaningful even
*if* it does not contain all descendents of the common ancestor,
then reptile != amniote.

Under this approach reptile = the amniote stem group (amniotes not
                              belonging to derived amniote subgroups)

 >  So can we please forget the former, 
 > or at least remember it as an old but inaccurate ...
 > description of some amniotic tetrapods, and not use it in day to day 
 > parlance amongst people who understand perfectly well what an amniote is?

No, because I find I need a word for stem amniotes quite often.
I prefer to use it in that sense, rather than as an equivalent
to amniote

swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com              sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.