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re: youngest dinos



On Fri, 19 Mar 1999, Sherry Michael wrote:

> Oh, I get it now. Thanks Dan, I feel part of the club! To even further
> incriminate myself, I'm one of those silly people that call dinosaurs like
> chickadees, tufted titmice, and yes, even the hoopoe- "birds". Yes, I know,
> I realize that such Paleo Incorrectness may cause me to be excommunicated
> from the list. But it distresses my poor mother the birdwatcher when I ask
> her if she has any new dinosaurs at her feeder. :)

We've been over this before.  There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with
referring to the species mentioned above as birds, "bird" being nothing
but an informal term for a certain specialized subgroup of maniraptoran
theropod dinosaurs.

"Dinosaur" is implicit in the term "bird."  I could speak of my pet
"mammals" at home, but it is usually more useful for me to refer to them
as two cats and a guinea pig.  Since "cat" and "guinea pig" are subsets of
"mammals", their mammalhood is implied in my terminology.

Similarly, it's A-OK for me to refer to myself as a "human", as long as I
realize that that term means that I am also an ape, a primate, a mammal,
etc.

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
(253)535-7045