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Re: Yet more reptile stuff
The following idea would probably add MORE confusion to the business of
reptile and related names' meanings instead of resolution, but here goes
Now, I am fully supportive of the expanded monophyletic meaning of reptile,
but if there is such a fuss going on about preserving the meaning of reptile
to tell us that the animal is scaly, ectothermic, crawling (or swimming or
slithering or high walking), and four-legged (or no-legged or two-legged--I
must say that even in these basic areas the concept of what "reptile" tells us
is a very sketchy concept indeed), why not take a cue from the mammalogists?
Mammal workers now pretty much insist on calling dogs, cats, bears, ferrets,
and all the other members of the Carnivora carnivorans (instead of carnivores,
an appellation which creates confusion with any other meat-eating organsim).
So why not have the LCA of turtles, lepidosaurs, and archosaurs and all its
descendants be reptilians, and then still have the word "reptiles" for the
traditional turtles, snakes, lizards, tuataras, amphisbaenids, and
crocodilians? I don't really love this idea myself, and personally I DO find
it somewhat in the direction of more confusion, but it would give a word to
make both sides happy (like "fish" and "gnathostome", I would think).
Anyway, just a screwball notion...3 posts in one day for a basal synapsid-
oriented lurker like myself makes me weary...