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Re: Tetrapod note (was: Re: [Re: Resting Sauropods])



At 12:24 PM 7/17/98 -0600, Jonathan R. Wagner wrote:
>Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 10:41:36 -0700
>Ralph Miller III wrote
>>So, as you can see, the colloquial (dictionary) meanings of "tetrapod" and
>>"reptile" differ markedly from the cladistic meanings.  And it is proper to
>>refer to a bird as a "reptile" and a "tetrapod," whether you feel
>>comfortable with such labels or not.
>
>        I was under the impression that in general
>biological/paleobiological circles (irrespective of cladistics), birds and
>snakes were considered tetrapods, as tetrapod referred to animals which
>share a four limbed heritage. Thus, amniotes, lissamphibia, and everything
>down to something like _Ichthyostega_ were all tetrapods. Was I wrong?

   You don't seem to be wrong.  My take on the whole issue was that the
original poster misremembered the proper term for an animal that uses four
limbs for terrestrial locomotion, quadruped, as tetrapod.

   Hmmm....would a mosasaur or plesiosaur be considered quadrupeds given
they weren't terrestrial?  How would penguins be classified given they are
bipeds on land, but use their forelimbs for locomotion in water?


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