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Re: a rose by any other name(was fish & dogs)
I couldn't let this one go by...
> "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