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In a message dated 98-08-28 05:57:28 EDT, email@example.com writes:
<< 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! >>
If it turns out that sauropods and theropods are more closely related than
either group is to ornithischians, then birds would be saurischians. But I'm
pretty convinced that sauropodomorphs and ornithischians are more closely
related than either group is to theropods (that is, share a more recent common
ancestor than with theropods), so Saurischia as presently defined would become
a synonym of Dinosauria as presently defined (and ornithischians would simply
be a different set of saurischian descendants).
I don't think anyone has any chance of replacing the names "dinosaur" and
"bird" with other terms, no matter what their ultimate phylogeny proves to be.
About all we can do is expand or redefine the meanings of those terms
phylogenetically to encompass all the forms, familiar and not so familiar,
that properly belong to these groups. (Of course, the meaning of the term
"properly belong" in this context is itself subject to debate...)