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Re: birds are birds, dogs are dogs

Norm King wrote:

<<After all, people who think birds are descended from a more basal
kind of archosaur, such as pseudosuchians, have never, to my knowledge,
asserted we should call birds pseudosuchians.>>

Oscar Quill wrote:
<It lacks mouth appeal. Dinosaur has mouth appeal. Even archosaur has
mouth appeal. pseudosuchian has no mouth appeal. It's not fair, but
that's the way the nomenaclature bounces.>

  Shoot. A rose is a rose is an angiosperm. I'm annoyed that I'd have
to call it Apatosaurus, because Brontosaurus is more elegant, but
whatever... Besides, birds are not pseudosuchians in any sense: they're
ornithosuchians, at least in the phylogenetic sense, which is the stem
opposing psuedosuchians.

  Archosauria: the most recent common ancestor of Neornithes and
  Ornithosuchia: all taxa closer to Neornithes than to *Crocodilus*;
  Pseudosuchia: all taxa closer to *Crocodilus* than to Neornithes.

  By appropriate phylogenetic context, anatomy demonstrates the
homology of the avian form to that of theropod dinosaurs, to the
exclusion of any other analysis that is as concise or well-defined ...
thus we presume to say birds are derived from dinosaurs, and that they
are archosaurs as well as reptiles. That there is any sort of
warm-bloodedness in one group that is not demonstrated in they're
closest living outgroup is irrelevant: Crocodiles and birds are two
lineages that had to have diverged by the Permian, if not earlier (I'm
not up on the Pseudosuchia, so forgive me). So to say that any reason
for a quick and easy concept to think of birds as is to oversimplify
and in fact loose sight of the whole. That's why paleontologist are
generalist in their training, and no one studies only dinosaurs ...
you'd need to be able to work in other groups easily enough to only
require a literature study and examination to allow you to utilize
those forms. Take Sereno's Dinosauria and Archosauria studies, or
Benton's. There is no such thing as dinosaurology, as much as some
would like to believe, or hope for.

  By the way, I'm preparing my sub-adult turkey bones, but have seem to
have lost much of the cervical series that came with it: namely, I have
a series of 8 cervicals including the axis, and all the loose dorsals,
of which about two probably are dorsosacrals in an adult. My question
is this: how many cervicals does *Meleagris* have (sans atlantal), or
could I use a *Gallus* skeleton as comparable?

Jaime "James" A. Headden

  Dinosaurs are horrible, terrible creatures! Even the
  fluffy ones, the snuggle-up-at-night-with ones. You think
  they're fun and sweet, but watch out for that stray tail
  spike! Down, gaston, down, boy! No, not on top of Momma!

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