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Re: Megalancosaurus, Longisquama & other oddballs



On Mon, 19 Mar 2001, Ken Kinman wrote:

>       I agree you can cladistically define Avemetatarsalia precisely, but
> you may forever condemn teachers to having to explain that this name is
> based on a homoplastic character which arose independently in pterodactyls.

If you want to get rid of all taxa named for homoplastic characters,
you're going to be getting rid of a *lot* of taxa. (_Ornithischia_, for
example....)

The group is still characterized by avian-style metatarsals (except maybe
at the basalmost level -- I don't think any fossils this basal are known,
or at least well-known) even if _Pterosauria_ are excluded; I don't have
any problems with the name. And if I did, I'd just emend it to Clade
(_Passer_, _Iguanodon_, _Pterodactylus_ <-- _Crocodylus_).

>       Way too many names, conflicting cladograms, homoplastic complexities,
> and you have the perfect recipe for endless bickering even among the
> dinosaur people.

I think the idea behind PhyloCode is to get all the bickering done now so
the future generations don't have to worry about it.

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T. MICHAEL KEESEY
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