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Re: PROBLEM WITH AMPHIBIAN GILLS



At 08:18 AM 5/19/98 -0700, Raolin wrote:
>> I think it's the 'term' amphibian that throws people off.  They should
>> be called amnoites (as Rober Carroll once corrected me), and only the
>> lisamphibians should be called amphibians. 
>> 
>> Tracy
>> 
>
>"Cladistic correctness" seems to be approaching the absurdity of
>"political correctness."  Except in a technical paper, I think the
>word amphibian is fine because pretty much everyone knows what is
>meant.  In contrast, creating new words daily is what throws people off.

Tracy, in fact, got the facts incorrect in his statement: amniotes is NOT
the term for these critters.  Amniota is a term applying to sauropsids and
synapsids (i.e., reptiles & their ancestors and mammals & their ancestors).
The term he's looking for is "basal tetrapod" or "anamniote".

Note that "Amniota" and "Tetrapoda" and "Lissamphibia" are all words that
LONG predate cladistics, and were used by many of the late, great
paleontologists and neontologists of the 20th Century.

Don't get in an uproar if the term is unfamiliar to you as an individual: it
might be familiar to many more people.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661