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



I couldn't let this one go by...

Dinogeorge wrote:

> "Fish," for example, may be unambiguously defined as all vertebrates that are 
> not tetrapods. It is not at all the "mishmash" group that cladists would have 
> one believe it is. Defined this way, lampreys, sharks, rays, and teleosts are 
> all "fish." Why would anyone have a problem with this?

Just what are the "benefits" of using a paraphyletic group such as 
this in a systematic sense? Ichthyology textbooks usually cover all 
aquatic vertebrates with fins that breathe water, but none pretend that 
this grouping means anything in evolutionary terms. If you are happy to 
use definitions like the one above we could place humans and birds 
together (non-inclusively) in a group of amniotes that are not 
quadrupedal. Would this be beneficial to anyone? Subjectivity is a 
slippery slope.

Kendall

----------------------
Kendall Clements
k.clements@auckland.ac.nz