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Re: Rock'n'roll !



Ken,
Actually, in my opinion, using non-ranking cladistic terminology is what allows Aves to remain essentially intact. You understand that birds are dinosaurs in the same way they are archosaurs, reptiles, and diapsids. But if you insist on using a Linnean based ranking classification system, then I have to insist that birds be removed from class status and be a suborder of Theropoda.
Why? Because it better reflects morphological diversity. Sure, birds are the most diverse group of dinosaurs, but so are rodents within the mammalia, and nobody suggests they should have their own class. Flight is obviously unimportant, as bats don't have a class of their own. Feathers, airsacs, beaks, endothermy, and all the other characters that has been used to define Aves are either definantly or very likely to be present in other dinosaurs. Birds have at least as much in common with sauropods and thyreophorans as bats do with proboscideans, tubilidentates, and monotremes.
So as I see it, strict cladistics comes closest to preserving the traditionalist view of birds, since they are then dinosaurs in the same way you are a vertebrate. If we are going to attempt to preserve the linnean system (I wouldn't) then it has to mean something, in which case there is really no way to save class Aves.


Scott
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