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Re: ['SERPENTINE LACERTIDS']



On 3 Jul 2000 archosaur@usa.net wrote:

> In a related topic, I've been told that serpentes & lacertilia are not
> formerly recognized taxons in PT. 

Lacertilia is certainly paraphyletic, but Serpentes could certainly be
used. I think Ophidia is the name for the clade of snakes, though.
 
> Harry W. Greene used lacertilia in his description of snake evolution in his
> book: Snakes The Evolution of Mystery in Nature. According to him, lacertilia
> was a more accurate term for the suborder for lizards, than sauria, but then
> that was 3 years ago and taxonomic nomenclature seems to change faster than
> computers, so I suppose they could have changed the more inclusive name
> again.

Sauria is now used for the least inclusive node-based group containing
Archosauria and Lepidosauria. The crown group of Diapsida, basically.
 
> At any rate, this is all pretty much irrelevant anyway, since the point I was
> trying to make was that we don't go around calling snakes lizards even though
> they phylogenetically are. So why should we go around calling birds dinosaurs
> other than to make it sound like dinosaurs didn't go extinct. The names are
> there to make life easier, so why should we go around confusing the matters
> any more.

Like I said, Dinosauria is a scientific taxon; "lizards" is not.
 
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