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Re: Aves and Mononykus

Last I heard Chiappe had removed the Alvarezsaurians from the Aves and put
them back into the non-avian land (at least he did at the Ostrom thing 1.5
years ago). I don't know he has re-moved them since then but Tom might let
us know what he remembers - this is more his area than mine.

Ralph Chapman

Ralph E. Chapman
Applied Morphometrics Laboratory
National Museum of Natural history
ADP, EG-15  NHB, 10th & Constitution, NW
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560-0136
(202) 786-2293, Fax: (202) 357-4122

>>> "Ken Kinman" <kinman@hotmail.com> 08/10/00 10:05AM >>>

     I think Aves should remain as it is.  The cladistic definition 
coincides with what most people (past and present) consider to be birds. 
have to get use to the fact that characters like feathers and
hearts do not set birds apart, just as hair doesn't set the mammals apart. 

Where we draw the arbitrary lines have to be based on osteological 
characters for the most part.
     Aves is and will remain a useful and stable taxon whether it is 
regarded as a separate Class, or a cladistically nested taxon (in my
it is both).  We could argue endlessly about the diversity criterion, but
this case other criteria, stability and tradition (both cladistic and 
eclectic) clearly demonstrate that Aves should be left anchored on 
Archaeopteryx (as much as I dislike such anchoring, in this case it seems 
     I would like to move on to a discussion of whether Alvarezsaurians 
(incl. Mononykus) belongs in Aves (Chiappe's view) or not (Sereno's view). 

I am completely undecided, but I suspect Sereno is probably correct.
                         ------Ken Kinman
>From: "Jeffrey Martz" <jeffmartz@earthlink.net>
>To: <Dinogeorge@aol.com>, <scott_hartman@hotmail.com>, 
><kinman@hotmail.com>,        <dinosaur@usc.edu>
>Subject: Re: Rock'n'roll !
>Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 08:11:52 -0500
>Dinogeorge wrote...
> >Another way to define the class Aves is "all vertebrates closer to
> >birds than to modern croocodylians," crocodylians being birds' extant
> >group. Then >all< the dinosaurs become basal birds.
>     Already taken by Ornithosuchia.
>Eric Lurio wrote...
> >A better thing to do would be to expand Aves to include some theropoda.
>     Already does.
>     And thats my contribution to taxonomic discussions for today.
>LN Jeff
>Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.
>-Richard Whately
>Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
>-Benjamin Franklin
>Jeffrey W. Martz
>3002 4th St., Apt. C26
>Lubbock, TX 79415
>(806) 747-7910
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