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



I have enjoyed this mailing list greatly. Due to circumstances beyond my
control, I must ask to be removed from this list. Hopefully, this request
will suffice. If not, please let me know the proper channel to submit my
removal.
Thank you.
Jim Fallin
----- Original Message -----
From: <archosaur@usa.net>
To: <tmk@dinosauricon.com>
Cc: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2000 11:00 AM
Subject: Non-serpentine lacertids (was RE:WHAT'S GOING ON?)


> tmk@dinosauricon.com writes:
>
> > I agree with this up to a point. While, yes we should look at things
>from
> an evolutionary perspective, going around calling tyrannosaurs and
> >ceratopians "non-avian dinosaurs" is both confusing and unwarranted.
>
> You *could* just call them "dinosaurs".
>
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
> I'd love to do that, but if I were to ask Mark Norell what he thought
> dinosaurs might sound like, I have a feeling that he would start giving me
a
> list of songbirds.
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------
>
>
> > Now, cladistically snakes are lizards, just like birds are dinosaurs,
>
> Not really -- "lizard" isn't a formal taxon, and even Lacertilia hasn't
> been incorporated into phylogenetic taxonomy, TMK. (The equivalent would
> be non-serpentean [or is it ophidian?] Lepidosauria.) No formal taxonomic
> system has anything to say about what is a "lizard" and what isn't.
>
>
> >Dinosauria, however, is a formal taxon, and as such has formal usage.
>
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
> But isn't _Sphenodon_ also a non-serpentean lepidosaur? That's why I tried
to
> keep it narrower.
>
> As I mentioned in a previous post, Harry W. Greene did use lacertilia in a
PT
> scenario when explaining snake evolution. But then that was a book (a good
> book) and not a technical paper.
>
> Regardless, the point I'm making is that snakes evolved from lacertilian
> (saurian) stock, but rather than calling them modified saurians or what
not,
> we have given them a separate name which makes distinguishing between them
a
> lot easier.
>
> Now admittedly these names came about in a more species static era, but
even
> in today's evolving world, it still is helpful to have names that
distinguish
> different groups of creatures.
>
> And yes it is pidgeon holing, but this part only comes in when trying to
keep
> up our arbitrary boundaries while explaining an evolutionary history,
which of
> course makes no sense to do.
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------
>
> > To summarize,  a sauropod is a dinosaur, ankylosaurs are dinosaurs,
>
> Certainly.
>
> > psittaciformes are birds and so are falconiformes.
>
> And they are also Dinosauria, using the phylogenetic definition.
>
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
> I'm not doubting their evolutionary roots, but I do have my reservations
about
> calling such obvious birds, dinosaurs (the same kind of reservations that
I
> would have when calling a python a saurian or mosasaur).
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
>
> > _Caudipteryx_ and _Rahonavis_ are non-avian and/or avian theropods (or
> >better yet, non-avian/avian maniraptorans).
>
> _Caudipteryx_ is probably related to Oviraptorosauria (non-avian) and
> _Rahonavis_ is a basal avialan, possibly a basal avian, both within
> Maniraptora.
>
> > A varanid is a lizard, an iguana is a lizard. Viperids are snakes and so
> >are colubrids.
>
> "Lizard" and "snake" are wholly vernacular terms.
>
> +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
> And "bird" isn't?
>
> All pedantry aside, I hope you see my point. When there is no doubt as to
what
> category the animal belongs to, then use the name of said category. When
the
> animal can't be easily pidgeon holed, then use the non-whatever names for
> them.
>
> I mean does _Brachiosaurus_ really have to be called a non-avian dinosaur?
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Personally, I think the term "non-avian dinosaur" is overused, but for
> other reasons. If traditional Dinosauria was not a desirable taxon (and I
> don't consider that it was) why continue to refer to it all the time?
>
> Indeed, most times I see the term, people are really referring to
> "Mesozoic dinosaur" (in discussions of extinction) or "non-neornithean
> dinosaur" (in discussions of extinction and of features that are only
> observable in extant taxa). I went though my entire site about a year ago
> and found this to be the case most of the time.
>
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
> Exactly, for the most part the term is just extra baggage.
>
> Jura
>
> Jurassosaurus's Reptipage: A page devoted to the study of the reptilia:
>
> http://reptilis.webjump.com
>
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