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Re: dino-to-bird



At 19.43 11/04/97 -0600, you wrote:
>I recently heard of a primitive bird that was found in the Mesazoic
>Era. What impact is this having on dinosaur paleontology?
>     
>
>     I think that dinosaurs weren't entirely birds,or entirely reptiles.
>I believe that they were a hybird of both. I also believe that they may
>be a completely new order. That they are there own thing. You know what
>I mean.
>
>
>Caleb Lewis
>http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Vault/6619/index.html
>

I think we should not forget that taxa are *our* creations, useful to think
and work about living and past organisms: the species are real biological
categories. If it's relatively easy to classify into a taxon an organism
that displays clearly carachters typical of that taxon (because *we* have
stated that all organisms with those carachters will be grouped in it),
problems may rise with an organism with carachters that are between two
taxon: but it (the organism) simply exists (or existed). Saying that e.g.
Archaeopteryx was not a dinosaur only because it was feathered and so it was
automatically a bird is a thautology.
Eugenio Spreafico
P.S. Only a precisation: birds and reptiles are not orders but classes and
dinosauria are inscripted to two (some authors say more) orders.