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Re: Real Basic Question

On Mon, 5 Feb 1996 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

> There is currently no agreement whatsoever among paleontologists as to where
> any of those lines should be drawn. There is only an endless series of
> proposed phylogenies in which those labels are attached to various subgroups
> shuffled around within those phylogenies. But when push comes to shove, most
> outsiders fall back on the old Linnaean standbys: dinosaurs and archosaurs
> are reptiles, birds are not dinosaurs but something new and different, and so
> forth. In the end, those paleontologists with the most grant money will
> probably be the most successful in foisting their classifications on the next
> generation, regardless of whether those classifications have any more claim
> to being based on the true phylogeny than anyone else's.

I say go for broke.  Throw out the Reptilia altogether and reorganize 
based on phylogeny:

Class Theropsida (incl. Subclass Therapsida, which incl. Superorder Mammalia)
Class Anapsida
Class Lepidosauria
Class Archosauria

(I've left out a couple of groups, esp. mesosaurs, which would, I guess, 
need their own class.  These groups are not entirely coordinate, but 
which two groups ever are?  They represent the most fundamental branching 
points I could think of.  There are, of course, intermidiate nodes 
[Sauropsida = Mesosauria + Anapsida + Diapsida; Diapsida = Lepidosauria + 

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

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