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Jim Davis' dinosaurs
In today's "Garfield" comic strip, the protagonist is telling
a younger Felis catus: "Yep, I've eaten a lot of birds in
my time...Went to the North Pole once and ate a penguin...
Went back in time and ate a pterodactyl, too."
Under the BADD doctrine, penguins are dinosaurs (although
not previously attested at the North Pole), but pterodactyls
aren't dinosaurs and thus not birds (so Garfield is guilty of
a *suggestio falsi* on this point)...but what about under the
BCF (birds came first) doctrine? Is the point at which the
term "bird" begins to be applied later than the point at
which the ancestors of pterodactyls diverge from the ancestors
of proto-birds? I would assume so.
As was point out, the German pronunciation of "Tyrannosaurus"
gives the "y" a sound closer to the ancient Greek pronunciation
in the word "tyrannos" (at least in the classical period at
Athens), but the word "tyrannos" is a foreign word adopted into
Greek, probably from Asia Minor, and there is no evidence for
how it was pronounced in the original language (maybe Lydian).
So Americans who can't manage the u-umlaut sound need not worry.
If the Devonian year was 410 days long, was each day shorter so
that the length of time it took the earth to complete one orbit
of the sun was the same as now (as measured by a neutral non-
terrestrial standard?), or has that changed too? (If we could
go back to 410 days, would that mean a 7-hour workday, a 3-day
weekend, or 55 more days vacation?)
George Pesely firstname.lastname@example.org
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, USA