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Re: a rose by any other name(was fish & dogs)



Jenny,
I love those comments, and they have hit the nail right on the head. If cladists had given dinosaurs plus birds a new name (instead of expanding Dinosauria), we wouldn't be having this debate and there would be no confusion.
The major reason they were not given a new scientific name is that it would make traditional Dinosauria (non-avian) a paraphyletic (incomplete) taxonomic group, and many cladists will go to great lengths to avoid any paraphyletic groups (no matter how confusing it gets).
Sometime when kids ask such appropriate questions (as those you quoted), you might try the following. Ask them if it wouldn't make sense to classify only regular dinosaurs (non-avian) in Dinosauria, the birds in Aves, and just put a special marker, like {{Aves}}, within the Dinosauria classification next to the dinosaurs which the birds evolved from.
---------Ken Kinman
********************************************************
From: "Jenny Lando" <jenny@amnh.org>
Reply-To: jenny@amnh.org
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: a rose by any other name(was fish & dogs)
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2000 22:01:24 -0500

The 4th graders with whom I spoke today were intrigued by the idea that shared skeletal features, and possible behavioral ones were the reasons some scientists considered birds to be a type of dinosaur. But they were not convinced..... kids comments are paraphrased below....

----So if ONLY dinosaurs have the hole in the hip, how come we think of them as reptiles..... and I do not think birds are reptiles....perhaps birds and dinosaurs should both be called something else......

another student piped in with

-----Yeah. They changed the Brontosaurus' name. Why not make a new name for dinobirds....or maybe just the dinosaurs that are like birds.


Just figured I'd add their voices to the clamor......

: ) Jenny

Jenny Lando
Assistant Coordinator
Moveable Museum/Paleontology of Dinosaurs
Education Department
American Museum of Natural History
CPW @ 79th Street
NYC NY 10024
mailto:jenny@amnh.org
212-769-5189
212-769-5329 (fax)
http://www.amnh.org

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