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Re: Classification of Plesiosaurs and Ichthyosaurs?

Tell them that what they are defining are closer to "Archosauromorphs" (not "Archosaurs", which are a less inclusive group). Ichthyosaurs may well end up in Archosauromorpha, and the turtles could end up there as well (that's the one I'm hoping for). You can tell them that, in any case, croc ancestors are closer to dinosaurs than ichthyosaurs are, and that pterosaurs have been recently moved deeper in the Archosauromorph tree, further away from the dinosaurs. Pterosaurs are still Archosauromorphs, but no longer regarded as either Archosauriforms or the even more exclusive Archosaurs.
However, if biologists are still confused as to which groups to include in Archosauromorpha, you can bet the editors to whom you are writing will be even more confused. You may be opening a big can of worms, so you might want to think twice before writing them.
From: Dave Hardenbrook <DaveH47@mindspring.com>
Reply-To: DaveH47@mindspring.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Classification of Plesiosaurs and Ichthyosaurs?
Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 15:54:36 -0700

I use WordWeb for my primary online Thesaurus/Dictionary, but I've
discovered that it gives this definition for "Archosaur": "Extinct reptiles
including: dinosaurs; plesiosaurs; pterosaurs; ichthyosaurs; thecodonts"

Umm... plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs?? Have I missed something?
*Are* they considered archosaurs now? Is the Euryapsida no more?
Or should I write an irate letter to WordWeb's researchers? (I plan
to write an irate letter to them anyway, to protest the exclusion of birds!)

-- Dave

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