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Re: Dinosaurs to birds

"Ralph W. Miller III" wrote:

> Matt  <Alien4240@aol.com>  wrote:
> > ... I don't really
> > understand why people like to say "birds" and "(avian dinosaurs)" right 
> > after
> > it. Is that for a type of reference or something, because if dinosurs 
> > evolved
> > into birds, then they wouldn't be dinosaurs anymore, they'd be birds and you
> > could just say that. Unless, of course, there's some other type of bird that
> > DIDN'T evolve from dinosaurs, then I'd see a reason for it. Can someone 
> > please
> > clarify? Thanks, ans thanks to the responses to my last letter.
> >
> >                                                                             
> >                                                             ~Matt
> >
> I see that I didn't answer your whole question.  All birds are dinosaurs, but 
> not all dinosaurs are birds, because birds are but a subset of all
> the dinosaurs that ever lived.  Therefore there are avian dinosaurs (which 
> most people call birds) and non-avian dinosaurs (all the rest of the
> dinosaurs, the creatures which most people think of when they think of 
> "dinosaurs").  On this list, people use the terms avian dinosaurs and
> non-avian dinosaurs sometimes to distinguish these subsets from the larger 
> group, the dinosaurs, which includes birds.  This language is proper
> and more precise according to current systematic definitions, even though 
> some scientists (John Ostrom, for one) have expressed their dismay at
> the broader definition of the term "dinosaur," feeling that it confuses the 
> public to speak of chickadees and hummingbirds as "dinosaurs."
> --
> Ralph W. Miller III  <gbabcock@best.com>

Ralph W. Miller III  <gbabcock@best.com>