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RE: WWD - layman's view



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Leonidus A.K. Giganotosaurus
>
>
> What _is_ the scientific word for the fish-group? Like, Avian is to
> birds, Mammalian to mammals, Reptilian, Saurian, and even Amphibian in
> itself. So..?
>

There is no accepted "fish-group" adjective (piscine or ichtyian), since
biologists have long recognized that "fish" do not represent a natural
assemblage.  "Pisces" was abandoned as a formal taxon long ago, predating
the cladistic revolution by many decades.  College biology textbooks (for
example) have long used various other fish "Classes" instead:
Actinopterygii, Chondrichtyes, Cyclostomata or Agnatha, etc.

As such, in English at least scientists have not been using a particular
formal adjective for  non-tetrapods craniates (aka "fish").  Instead, they
more often used terms appropriate to the particular clade or grade:
actinopterygian, chondricthyian, etc.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843