[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

RE: A few very short questions

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. and Barbara Saffer wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Some of you may remember that I asked a few questions a while back, for a
>> dinosaur book I was writing for children. The book is in the last
>> stages of
>> pre-production, and the fact-checker has questioned 3 "facts".  I
>> was hoping
>> some of you might be able to assist me by confirming or negating these 3
>> points.
>> 1. I said dinosaurs are reptiles.
>>  Is it true that dinosaurs are considered to be close relatives
>> of reptiles,
>> but in a class of their own?
>While some (such as Bob Bakker) have advocated that position, it is not that
>held by most people working on the relationships of dinosaurs to each other
>and to other vertebrates.
>To divide the question into two parts:
>I) Dinosauria is part of Reptilia, so dinosaurs are reptiles.
>II) The concept of a "Class" (and "Order" and "Family" and so on) has been
>abandoned by most working systemicists.
>> Thanks for any assistance you can provide.
>> Barbara Saffer, Ph.D.  (science writer)
>Hope this helps.
>               Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

Has anyone ever wondered how paleontologists are going to explain
cladistics to a whole generation of schoolkids who were weaned on the
Linnean system? Or how do we explain it to first-time listeners who aren't
familiar with Linneaus in the first place. I can imagine delivering a
lecture to high school students about cladistics and some of them going
"Duh?!" in their minds. The Linnean hierarchy is so firmly entrenched in
the academic psyche ( and in everyday use) that it takes almost a paradigm
shift (IMHO) to adjust to cladistics.

Raymond Thaddeus C. Ancog
Mines and Geosciences Bureau