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Re: Archosaur Origins...was:MESENOSAURUS ERRATA.

George Olshevsky (dinogeorge@aol.com) wrote:

<I see nothing contradictory in the system I outlined. What could be simpler? 
If it's more closely
related to modern birds than to any other animals, why not call it a bird (or, 
if you like, bird
sensu lato)?>

  I see this is an aesthetic statement, so perhaps we should persue this ... no 
ornithologist (all
the thousands of them) would agree or accept calling *Titanosaurus* a bird. It 
isn't, in any sense
of the word, which is fairly limited. Typically, taking an animal like 
*Heterodontosaurus* and a
pigeon *Columba*, one can easily tell down to the first grader and the 
collegiate professor of
law, which one is a bird. This is less stable when we pick *Velociraptor* and 
*Columba*, but it is
not as similar to *Diplodocus* and *Columba*. Whether one person would want to 
rename this Aves
based on some "simpler" way of providing a stem-based system, based only on 
living groups, is
inherently unstable and prone to dragging the vernacular with it, as you 
express to anticipating.

  I cannot see this as a valid system based on an apparently aesthetic-driven 
stem-based living
groups, and using the names for these most inclusive groups as vernacular-laden 
terms. If so, then
use the easthetically pleasing Thecodontia again? Just give it a firmer 

Jaime A. Headden

  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

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