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RE: Some thoughts on AVES

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of Ken
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:49 AM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Some thoughts on AVES

     YES, Tim!!!!  Actually that's an excellent example (are you shocked
that I'm agreeing with you?).
     Anchoring Aves on genus Archaeopteryx was an accident of history, and
given how small the gap between archaeopterygids and dromaeosaurs has now
become, I will probably break with that tradition when the time seems right
(most likely when Gregory Paul or George O., or someone else, comes up with
a proposal I really like and with which I can heartily concur).
     Another (larger) gap should be chosen to mark the arbitrary line
between Reptilia and Aves, but this time it should be based on osteological
characters that are much more clear-cut (like those which divide therapsids
and mammals).   Yes, a character-based taxon---do I hear booing in the
cladist camp?  Sorry, but I think that is the best way to ensure relative
stability of content in the long run (it did for mammals before the
cladistic splintering messed it all up).<<

Well, if you asked me I'd say start with the transition from plain old
diapsids to Archosauromorphs and not call archosauromorphs reptiles. Which
would make crocodilians non-reptiles, which wouldn't bother me. What about
you Chris?

Tracy L. Ford
P. O. Box 1171
Poway Ca  92074

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