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Re: Lizard like bird-hips

On Sat, 3 Feb 1996, Jeff Poling wrote:

>    Anybody know a good ref. for the genesis of the terms Saurischian and
> Ornithischian?  I'm trying to explain in a "paper" I'm writing exactly *why*
> those names were chosen when birds really have derived "lizard-hips"
> (especially given the existence of Archaeopteryx (are-kay-oh-tare-ix) was
> known at the time).

To my knowledge, ornithischians were called that simply because their 
pubes slant backwards alongside the ischia in a manner superficially 
reminiscent of bird hips.  Back in the early days of dinosaurology, there 
were even suggestions that ornithischians had given rise to birds!

The name just became entrenched in the scientific vocabulary.  Bakker, 
for one, refers to use Predentata, a term coined by Marsh, as this 
describes a feature no non-ornithischian has, i.e. a predentary bone.

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." -- Harry S. Truman