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Re: What Is Not a Dinosaur? (was re: Ankle Articulation in Pterosaurs)

At 08:28 PM 1/24/97 -0500, Dinogeorge wrote:
><<  I believe that what Senor Dr. Novas was attempting to say (whether [...]
> such statement.>>
>Then why didn't he say this? Not to mention that many of the taxa
>(_Lagerpeton_, _Marasuchus_, Pseudolagosuchus_) he believes to be outside
>Dinosauria as he has defined it are almost certainly WITHIN in, having a more
>recent common ancestor with theropods than with sauropods or ornithischians.
>This may be the source of some of his obvious difficulties.
        Or it could be that due to homplaisy amongst basal Dinosaurimorphs.
Yet his "obvious difficulties" as you put it seem to be related to
mismanagement of words and concepts, not data.  It could his "obvious
difficulties" could have something to do with his perhaps not being a native
english speaker, or maybe he's new to phylogenetic systematics, or maybe he
got his degree (a PhD, if I'm not wrong) at a time when the study of
phylogeny and the practice of taxonomy was (and still is) rapidly changing.
Whatever the reason, this is a pretty flimsy excuse for your grandstanding.
        In any case, I shan't rise to the bait, except to say that I have
never seen one proper cladistic analysis which supports the claim you make
above, and there's more than one against it.  And, like it or not,
cladistics is how you play the game.

><<         While dinosaurs are commonly considered to be monophyletic exclusive
> of the other taxa used in his study >>
>"Commonly considered"? Novas DEFINED Dinosauria to be monophyletic.
>Dinosauria is monophyletic >by definition<, and common considerations have
>nothing to do with it.
        Yes, and you miss the point.  The "common consideration" is that the
Dinosauria consists of only those animals which are commonly (other than by
you) attributed to them.  This is something he is trying to address by
providing evidence for monophyly exclusive of the other groups.  Were is the
problem in this?
        Looking for holes in what appears to be a fairly solid work
(misadvertised or not) is really missing the point.  I realize that it is in
the best interest of your "BCF" theory to try to discredit Novas' research,
but I would hope that you could come up with arguments against his evidence,
and not his semantics.
        And yes, that coming from a cladist.
| Jonathan R. Wagner                    "You can clade if you want to,     |
| Department of Geosciences              You can leave your friends behind |
| Texas Tech University                  Because your friends don't clade  |
| Lubbock, TX 79409                               and if they don't clade, |
|       *** wagner@ttu.edu ***           Then they're no friends of mine." |
|           Web Page:  http://faraday.clas.virginia.edu/~jrw6f             |