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Dino Defs (was Re: Birds?Dinos?)



At 04:43 PM 10/5/98 EDT, Dinogeorge wrote:
>In a message dated 10/5/98 1:51:44 PM EST, tkeese1@gl.umbc.edu writes:
>
><< Ask Gauthier -- he was the first to cladistically define Dinosauria. >>
>
>Don't think he anchored it to Triceratops and birds, however. I think that
>honor goes to Padian & Holtz. (Memory don't fail me now.)
>
Actually, Gauthier (1986) was the first to define Saurischia as modern birds
and all taxa closer to birds than to Ornithischia, Padian & May (1993) to
define Ornithischia as _Triceratops_ and all taxa closer to it than to
Saurischia (as it is one of the best known and most derived ornithischians),
and Novas (1996) to explicitly define Dinosauria as all descendants of the
most recent common ancestor of Saurischia and Ornithischia.

In the meantime, I had suggested that _Megalosaurus_ and _Iguanodon_ be used
as the anchor taxa, as Owen would not have recognized birds as dinosaurs nor
recognized _Triceratops_, period.  But, such is life.  I have worked this
definition into a couple of kids books, and use it in my undergraduate class
as a "working definition", but technically, if I follow the phylogenetic
taxonomic principle of priority, I have to go with Neornithes and _Triceratops_.

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