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



On Fri, 9 Feb 1996 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 96-02-09 02:14:07 EST, pharrinj@PLU.edu (Nicholas J.
> Pharris) writes:
> 
> >Why would this be of any more use to ornithologists than anyone else?  It 
> >would not be productive for primatologists to go around saying that 
> >primates are different enough from other mammals to deserve their own 
> >coordinate taxon.
> 
> That's because primates are not different enough from other mammals to
> deserve their own coordinate taxon. But mammals are different enough from
> reptiles to deserve their own coordinate taxon.

If you mean "reptiles" in the sense of all descendants of the commn 
ancestor of turtles and crocodiles, then no, mammals are not a part of 
that taxon, because we are not descended from that common ancestor.  If by 
"reptile" you mean "an amniote that is not a mammal or a bird," then

AAAAARRGGHHH!

Pelycosaurs and therapsids are theropsids.  "Pelycosaur" is an informal 
term for those theropsids which are not therapsids.  Mammalia is the 
clade containing all descendants of the last common ancestor of 
_Ornithorhynchus_, say, and _Homo_.  This taxon can also be defined as 
those therapsids which have a jaw joint between the dentary and squamosal 
bones.

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
(206)535-8204
PharriNJ@PLU.edu

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