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"carnosaur" classification (was Archaeopteryx Pes)
I think you bring up a valid point below. Phylogenetic
classifications tend to attempt the fine-splitting of classifications long
before it is possible (much less appropriate) to do so. Therefore the
"quagmire" destabilizes the taxonomy and causes unnecessary confusion.
As for the "carnosaurs" (sensu lato) in particular, I prefer to
classify them as three families: Spinosauridae, Torvosauridae (=
Megalosauridae), and Allosauridae (incl. sinraptors, carcharodontosaurs, and
even Fukuiraptor, etc.).
I don't even like the term "carnosaurs" any more, because it means
different things to different people. Carnosaurs (sensu lato) include the
above three families, while carnosaurs (sensu stricto) is pretty much
equivalent to my Allosauridae (formerly Allosauria/Allosauroidea).
Taxonomic inflation is destabilizing in both the short term and long term.
And attaching the name "Carnosauria" to any grouping is ill-advised in my
opinion (even tyrannosaurs used to be dumped in the carnosaur "trash-bin").
Within a broad Allosauridae, there are two major subfamilies among
"advanced" forms---Allosaurinae and Sinraptorinae---and whether a Subfamily
Carcharodontosaurinae belongs within one or the other (or neither of them)
is still rather controversial (not to mention the fact that some think
carcharodontosaurs are not "carnosaurs" at all and belong in Abelisauridae
Anyway, that is how a traditionalist (like me) might try to sort
through this quagmire. In short, stop the premature splitting of larger
families, and avoid using the common name "carnosaur" (or a taxon
"Carnosauria")---- they are about as useless and confusing as "insectivore"
P.S. QUESTION: By the way, which has priority, Torvosauridae or
Megalosauridae? Is it possible that one could have priority by the
Zoological Code and the other priority by the PhyloCode???
Which raises a point: all this arguing about taxonomy and what to
call this or that seems a little misplaced. Before we can erect a taxonomy,
we need a decent idea of how things are related, and we don't have that
yet, we've got a systematic quagmire....
Foundation, then structure. Otherwise, we get situations like a
Ceratosauria that uses Coelophysis as a reference taxon, so "Ceratosauria"
may exclude Ceratosaurus... it just makes stuff more complicated. More than
anything, we need taxonomy to be useful, but if stuff like this happens and
names proliferate because we are too eager to rush in and name every
concievable node and stem... well, heck if I know a solution to it all.
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