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Re: replying to pomposity
Ken Kinman wrote:
Thecodontia has no doubt been recognized longer than you have been alive,
some very brilliant biologists. And given the uncertainties of how these
groups are interrelated, 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.
I cannot agree with this. Even the most brilliant people can be wrong
sometimes, and there is much more fossil evidence available now than there
was when the "order" Thecodontia was proposed.
There are many papers that can do a better job of explaining this than I
can, but certain "thecodonts" are obviously much more closely related to
certain non-thecodonts than they are to other "thecodonts". The erstwhile
thecodontian _Saltoposuchus_ (a bipedal crocodylomorph) does not deserve to
be lumped in with the proterosuchians and erythrosuchians. Nor does
_Ornithoschus_ nor the strikingly dinosaur-like _Lagosuchus_...
The term "Thecodontia" (at least as it was defined in the past) is outdated
and misleading, and serves only to obscure the remarkable diversity of
archosaurs (or archosauriforms) in the Triassic Period.
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