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Re: Quo vadis, T. rex? [long]



> But do you see where I'm coming from?  The way I see it, birds *can't* be 
> "derived enough" to "warrant being called something different", just as 
> neither I nor any of my descendants can ever not be a mammal and a 
> primate.  A bird can't change itself enough to erase who its ancestors 
> were, or what its closest relatives are.  
> In my book, the purpose of 
> taxonomy is to illustrate what is related to what.  You can't do that if 
> you go around ripping groups out of their proper places in the tree of 
> life and pretending that they've become something else.  

     We've become something other than crossopterygian 
fish.  Taxonomy is useful in showing how things are related, but also in 
how they differ which is why we call things by different names.  This 
does not alter phylogenetic relationships, only makes thing a little more 
convenient.  We can use the different termss "birds" and "dinosaurs" while 
recognizing at the same time that the first group is still descended from the 
second.     

LN Jeff