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Re: Non-serpentine lacertids (was RE:WHAT'S GOING ON?)



On Sun, 2 Jul 2000 ELurio@aol.com wrote:

> "Lizard" and "snake" are wholly vernacular terms. >>
> 
> ...and so should reptile!!!!

Why? Reptilia has been a scientific term ever since Linnaeus coined it
(and his usage didn't correspond to the [later] more conventional one,
either).

"Lizard" and "snake", by contrast, are pure English vernacular.

> If you're going to stick to the old class system [and why not? it
> works!!!!!!],

It works somewhat for extant forms (although it's still unsatisfactory in
many ways), but many fossil taxa tend to get less classificatory space
(no ranks for Dinosauria, Neotheropoda, Tetanurae, Neotetanurae,
Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Paraves or Eumaniraptora), or more than
they need (_Archaeopteryx_ constitutes a subclass, an infraclass, a
superorder, an order, a suborder, an infraorder, a superfamily, a
family, a subfamily, a tribe ...).

> then Squamata(Lizards) and Serpantes(snakes)  are completely valid
> terms.

They are also valid taxa under phylogenetic taxonomy. (Incidentally,
Squamata doesn't include just lizards under any classificatory scheme;
Squamata always includes Serpentes[=Ophidia]. It is essentially the same 
taxon under either evolutionary or phylogenetic taxonomy, as is
Serpentes/Ophidia.)

> The fact that long legless lepidosaurs have evolved several times
> [much to the distress of all those anti-convergance people out there],
> has nothing to do with that.

Anti-convergence people?
____________________________________________________________________________
T. Michael Keesey <tmk@dinosauricon.com> | AIM <Ric Blayze> | ICQ <77314901>
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