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RE: WWD - layman's view



On Tue, 2 May 2000, AM Yates wrote:

> That is the problem with using old gradistic terms like "amphibian" and
> applying new phylogenetic definitions to them.

I actually was using the phylogenetic definition, but forgot about the
phylogenies where temnospondyls are not considered amphibians. (Odd,
because that's the phylogeny I used on my site ...)

> 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.

The difference between "fish" and "amphibian" is that the latter has
always been a scientific/academic term, while the former is pure
vernacular.

I agree that some old taxa have been adapted to the phylogenetic system
rather awkwardly (Reptilia!), but as long as people use them consistently
...

-- T. Michael Keesey .................................. <tmk@dinosauricon.com>
   My Worlds (including The Dinosauricon) ... <http://dinosauricon.com/keesey>
   AOL Instant Messenger ........................................ <Ric Blayze>