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Re: DEFENDING MODERN BIOLOGY
At 12:06 PM 6/21/00 -0400, Timothy Williams wrote:
Now that you mention it, it WAS a polyphyletic trash-can. The Thecodontia
became a receptacle for any Triassic reptile that appeared to be an
archosaur and did not appear to be a dinosaur, crocodilian or pterosaur.
I've seen _Longisquama_, _Sharovipteryx_ (_Podopteryx_) and _Hupehsuchus_
all shoehorned into the Thecodontia.
Saying this makes _Thecodontia_ polyphyletic assumes that one accepts the
cladograms that put these animals in or near the Prolacertiformes. Just
about everybody I know of who put them in _Thecondontia_ believed they were
shared a closer common ancestor with _Proterosuchus_ than with any
prolacertiform. Given such a family tree, a Thecodontia including them is
paraphyletic, not polyphyletic.
I agree that recent evidence favors a prolacertiform position for these
genera. But any taxonomist of a Mayrian stripe would take this as a
sufficient reason to *remove* them from _Thecodontia_.
May the peace of God be with you. email@example.com