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sauropods (biggest "dinosaurs"?)
Whether the largest sauropod (whichever one it turns out to be) is the
largest "dinosaur" depends on (1) the cladistic definition of Dinosauria
adopted and (2) the topology of dinosaur relationships accepted.
In my opinion, if the definition adopted does not include a sauropod
specifier (in addition to a theropod and an ornithischian), one is just
asking for trouble down the line. One could end up with a formal Dinosauria
that includes theropods and ornithischians, but excludes sauropods, and that
would be both embarrassing and destabilizing.
I certainly agree that no modern birds should be used as a specifier,
as this has already caused too much confusion and trivialization in the bird
origins debate (as Adam pointed out). But I hope that the new Dinosauria
definition doesn't lack a sauropod specifier just because Owen didn't
include one. Otherwise, you will see more people attempting a
character-based Dinosauria (and in view of my recent posts, I'm clearly not
overly thrilled with that prospect either).
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