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Re: Feduccia's delusion



> Well, Feduccia is a paleoorthinologist, and he never liked the denigration
of
> birds by dino fans. Birds, they say, aren't just Dinosaurs, they're
> REPTILES!!!! Jeez!!!

Similarly to Feduccia (I beg your forgiveness), you throw several kinds of
people together:

1. Those (non-/pre-cladists) who have not denigrated birds but upvalued
dinosaurs by inventing Class Dinosauria and putting birds in it. To them,
birds are just dinosaurs, but not reptiles.
2. Those (cladists) who accept a phylogenetic definition of Dinosauria,
which according to current evidence has as a consequence that birds are
dinosaurs. To them, birds aren't just dinosaurs, they're sauropsids (a
stem-based group), just as T. H. Huxley in the 19th century wanted it. The
term Reptilia is abandoned -- all former reptiles are "upvalued" in the
sense of 1.
3. Those (cladists) who, in addition to 2, recognize a node-based (crown)
group Reptilia, defined as the most recent common ancestor of turtles,
lizards + snakes, tuataras and crocs and all its descendants. To them, birds
aren't just dinosaurs, they're reptiles, as you write above. They are also
sauropsids, but as Sauropsida and Reptilia have at the moment the same
contents (before AFAIK 1999 Mesosauridae were regarded as the only
non-reptilian sauropsids), and the name Reptilia is much better known, they
much more frequently use Reptilia than Sauropsida. The same people (AFAIK)
have wrought that we are eupelycosaurs ( = something like {mammals >
*Casea*}, *Casea* is a very basal herbivorous theropsid = synapsid),
anthracosaurs (maybe something like {amniotes > stem-based amphibians) and,
IMHO worst of all, cotylosaurs ( = {*Diadectes* + amniotes}).

(I happen to prefer the second approach, but we've had that discussion. And
I won't exactly try how harakiri feels like should the third approach win
out.)

> Birds have class.

Dinosaurs of a feather
happily clade together.