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Re: Phyl Tax roundup (was Re: Quick cladistics question)



At 03:06 PM 4/3/97 -0500, Dr. Holtz wrote:
>Gauthier (p. 12 of the 1986 paper) indicates that his use of "birds" and
>Aves are not synonymous, as as Archaeopteryx IS a "bird", but is outside of
>his formulation of Aves.
        But he implies (if not states specifically) that "birds" does not
consitute a taxon, but is a vernacular term for feathered winged
vertebrates. Chiappe's objection to the use of Aves as a crown group taxon
stems from the fact that the word for "bird" sensu Gauthier in many other
languages stems from the latin root av-. Thus, while Gauthier's use makes
fine sense in English, where we have a latin word for "crown group birds"
and a vernacular term for "birds", in other languages (Spanish?), you have
one word, which means a different group in the vernacular than it does to
science.
        The larger point here is that "birds" is not meant to be a taxon,
but a vernacular, typological name. Of course I'm not advocating that we
cannot use these taxa as they are formulated, but I think somebody oughtta
get down to the train station and fix 'em (preferrably *without* using
higher taxa in the definition).

>Thus, it seems that he is using "bird" as the vernacular form of Avialae.
        And if I were to do this (ie. use "bird" in a definition) in my
thesis, anybone on my committee worth his salt would ram it back where it
came from. On the other hand, I didn't *invent* phlyogenetic taxonomy, so
Gauthier certainly deserves some slack!

>(Chiappe, in the Gondwana dinos volume, uses "bird" as the vernacular for
>his formulation of Aves (Archie + Neornithes) and "modern bird" as the
>vernacular for Neornithes (Gauthier's version of Aves).
        I believe the rules of priority (as they stand) favor Gauthier's
interpretation. If Chiappe gets to change this, surely we should be allowed
to change the definition of Dinosauria!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock TX 79409
            Web Page:  http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~jrw6f