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Re: Let sleeping dinos lie



>Thanks for the correction, Darren. We argued about what the little beast 
>was supposed to be a reconstruction of, and got it wrong. So who created it?
>
>If "dinosaurs are reptiles" according to a cladist, can I also say 
>"people are protozoa"?
>

Protozoa is a paraphyletic taxon.  Since some single celled eukaryotes are
closer to Animalia, some to Fungi, some to Fungi + Animalia, some to Plantae,
and some are outside the Plantae + (Fungi + Animalia) clade, there is no
overarching derived character uniting "protozoans".  As such, that term
should be dropped (and is dropped in many modern works).

However, both humans and amoebae are eukaryotes, a monophyletic group.
"Protozoans" are simply those members of Eukaryota which never evolved
multicellularity.

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
Phone:301-405-4084