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Re: Dino Birds (was Re: Dinosaur = extinct animal)
At 02:51 PM 7/19/99 -0400, T. Mike Keesey wrote:
>Revisions of diagnosis and membership, not (except rarely) of definition.
I find major changes in membership of a taxon to be at least as confusing,
and far more pernicious in reading the literature, than other sorts.
At least when Linnaean taxonomy makes a major change in membership it is
usually honest enough to give the resulting group a new name, so that
readers can tell it is has an essentially different character than the old
A Prosauropoda that includes all sauropods is *very* different in essence
from one that includes *no* sauropods sensu stricto. And such a switch in
scope retroactively changes the apparent meaning of older articles
referring to Prosauropoda (and of the reader doesn't know about the
historical change in membership, the reader could easily be confused quite
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