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RE: WWD - layman's view

On Mon, 1 May 2000, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

> > _Koolasuchus_ -- actually an Australian temnospondyl amphibian from the
> > Early Cretaceous.
> Actually, temnospondyls might not be amphibians in phylogenetic taxonomy
> (i.e., may not be closer to modern lissamphibians than to reptiles); some
> phylogenies place them as branching off prior to the amphibian-anthracosaur
> split.

That is the problem with using old gradistic terms like "amphibian" and
applying new phylogenetic definitions to them. I feel that it is better
to retain the word amphibian as a non-taxonomic description of an
animal much like the word "fish" is used nowadays. Imagine the confusion
if someone defined Fish as all taxa more closely related to Salmo than
to Homo. There are inumerable other taxonomic terms that one could
choose from to denote the "Lissampbibia+its stem" clade.


Adam Yates