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Re: replying to pomposity

In a message dated 6/20/00 9:13:09 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
kinman@hotmail.com writes:

> it continues to make perfect sense to classify 
>  Thecodont ancestors in a paraphyletic order rather than hanging out their 
>  classificatory limbo because the cladists can't decide where to put them.  

They're not in classificatory limbo.  Even in a very sparse, "agnostic" 
system, one can say that rauisuchians, ornithosuchids, aetosaurs, etc., are 
archosaurs, and that they are not dinosaurs, pterosaurs, birds, or 
crocodiles.  That is perfectly in line with what we know of their 
evolutionary history, and also perfectly in line with their phenetic 

Surely you wouldn't argue that every organism has to be a member of some 
(non-trivial) suborder, superfamily, or tribe.  It makes perfect sense to say 
that the Stagonolepididae are members of the "order" or "subclass" 
Archosauria but not of any defined subgroup thereof (if one decides not to 
use Crurotarsi, Suchia, etc.).

Nick P.