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Re: handedness in dinosaurs/"birds"



Patrick Mellor wrote-

> >The fundamental work on lateralization of the brain in living  dinosaurs
> >(what fading crayons in cyberia like to term "birds") is being conducted
> >by:
> >Irene Maxine Pepperberg (1981 to date), working with Psittacus erithacus;
> >Lesley  Rogers (who uses Gallus gallus, and other taxa, including
mammals,
> >in
> >her paradigms) in collaboration with Chao Deng and Gisela Kaplan. The
> >literature of parental care levels re: living avialian theropods is
> >immense,
> >ongoing, but the work of D.W. Mock is pivotal.  So, too, is the work of
> >Graham Martin and Gadi Katzir re: visual fields of avialian theropods --
> >feeding, rearing of hatchlings, foraging/hunting, etc., are intertwined
> >with
> >surviving.  Gart Zweers has done interesting work on how dinosaurs
actually
> >drink/eat (viz. swallowing).  Remarkable work on ultraviolet vision in
the
> >dinosaurs one sees in heavily canopied rainforests is, also, available
for
> >perusal. Of course, if one prefers to ignore post-K/T dinosaurs, pretend
> >they
> >are not Dinosauria, and shirk one's  responsibilities as paleontologists
to
> >extant ecomorphologies of dinosaurs, then the above suggestions for
reading
> >may be a mental challenge. My own feeling is that Dinosauria = Aves, the
> >latter term to be re-defined as...what?
>
>
> This really gets irritating, I didn't write that 'handedness' post, but
> we all know what we mean when we say dinosaur, why does the use of
> 'non-avian dinosaur' always have to be enforced like this, we don't call
> sharks 'non batoid chondricthians'

Probably because there's a Dinosauria all birds belong to, but not a
"Sharkia" all rays belong to.  Shark is just a vernacular term for a
paraphyletic group, like fish or lizard.  Thus, all birds are dinosaurs as
much as all sharks are gnathostomes, fish are craniates and lizards are
squamates.  What I have a problem with is Pickering's use of terms like
"living dinosaurs", "living avialan theropods", "post-KT dinosaurs" and for
birds.  It's uselessly redundant, lengthy and confusing to laymen.  Birds
are still birds, as much as they are dinosaurs, avialans and theropods.  As
only birds live today, calling all living dinosaurs birds is perfectly
accurate.  "Bird" is a well known and short term, which are also good
qualities.  It's like calling crocodilians "living crocodyliomorph
crurotarsans".  Ridiculous, if technically correct.

Mickey Mortimer