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DINORNITHANS




Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 23:04:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: "T. Mike Keesey" <tkeese1@gl.umbc.edu>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: RE: [Fwd: Dinosaur Society]
Message-ID: <Pine.SGI.3.96A.980827230044.6816D-100000@umbc8.umbc.edu">Pine.SGI.3.96A.980827230044.6816D-100000@umbc8.umbc.edu>
On Thu, 27 Aug 1998, Stewart, Dwight wrote:
> Speaking of birds & dinosaurs, I have a question for the list: am I
> correct in assuming that (ironically) the order Saurischia is closer to
> birds that the Ornithischia? I'm sure this has probably been addressed
> before, sorry.
 
According to the Linnaean system, yes. The ornithischian pelvis is only
superficially bird-like, so the name is a misnomer.
 
Under the increasingly popular cladistic system (which I would guess that
more people on this list, and perhaps in the profession, use), birds *are*
saurischians! (And Saurischia is not an Order -- cladistics doesn't use
absolute ranks higher than Genus.) The situation becomes even more ironic
...
 
--T. Mike Keesey <tkeese1@gl.umbc.edu>
DINOSAUR WEB PAGES -- http://www.gl.umbc.edu/~tkeese1/dinosaur/index.htm
 
 
Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 23:04:56 -0400 (EDT)
From: "T. Mike Keesey" <tkeese1@gl.umbc.edu>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: RE: [Fwd: Dinosaur Society]
Message-ID: <Pine.SGI.3.96A.980827230044.6816D-100000@umbc8.umbc.edu">Pine.SGI.3.96A.980827230044.6816D-100000@umbc8.umbc.edu>
On Thu, 27 Aug 1998, Stewart, Dwight wrote:
> Speaking of birds & dinosaurs, I have a question for the list: am I
> correct in assuming that (ironically) the order Saurischia is closer to
> birds that the Ornithischia? I'm sure this has probably been addressed
> before, sorry.
 
According to the Linnaean system, yes. The ornithischian pelvis is only
superficially bird-like, so the name is a misnomer.
 
Under the increasingly popular cladistic system (which I would guess that
more people on this list, and perhaps in the profession, use), birds *are*
saurischians! (And Saurischia is not an Order -- cladistics doesn't use
absolute ranks higher than Genus.) The situation becomes even more ironic
...
 
--T. Mike Keesey <tkeese1@gl.umbc.edu>
DINOSAUR WEB PAGES -- http://www.gl.umbc.edu/~tkeese1/dinosaur/index.htm
 
 
     I was just curios as to how BCF would relate Birds and  Saurischians. Any details? Also, in the grander scheme of things, (and in view of the Federal Govt. apparently stepping in to define some kind of order in classifications), and considering how most all of us now feel there is a very close relationship between Birds and Dinos (whether through BCF or " that other Dogma").......Why not rename the whole group? Something more definitive? Like "DINORNITHANS". No,... seriously!
     I know we all are used to Dinosaur, but comeon, it means" terrible lizards". And we know they`re not lizards...right? Terrible, OK. I suppose to the insects even these modern Dinos we call birds are pretty fierce and  "terrible". So who gets to name them? Does one have to be a Cladist or make a good argument for it? Perhaps through common usage our descendants might decide? All I know is that right here and now I find it awkward to have to refer to certain "non-avian theropods" as such. And what will we do when we find fossil forms that are so closely related that one can`t decide whether to call them non-avian or avian (and I think we`re already very close to that). Perhaps a common heading would eliminate some of the confusion. So, ...all those in favor of  "Dinornithans" say aye! (I`m sure some ornithologists will put up a fight).