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Re: Dinosauria---Rejected Name?



In a message dated 2/22/02 7:37:59 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
kinman@hotmail.com writes:

>      Be careful what you wish for.  We'll have to get rid of 
>  "Dinosauria"---(1) it's descriptive; and (2) worse yet, Dinosaurus is a 
>  genus of therapsid.  EGAD!!!  Looks like "Dinosauria" must be rejected on 
>  two grounds.

Wouldn't bother me.  I've never thought Dinosauria was a particularly 
appropriate name, seeing as how it includes birds and a whole bunch of other 
non-terrible-lizardy things.  There have been a number of replacement names 
floated; my personal pick is Ornithopsida, a stem-based taxon anchored on 
modern birds.


>       And you might not like it so much if workers in other fields 
>  (invertebrates, plants, microbes) start dumping their familiar descriptive 
>  names (and a few have tried to do just that).

I didn't say they had to dump them, rather that they should be given 
apomorphy-based definitions, where the names refer to apomorphies of the 
group (note that this is not the case with Dinosauria:  it's a totally 
arbitrary matter when a "lizard" becomes "terrible").


>  Do you want to learn a huge 
>  list of weird new names and throw out all those horrible old descriptive 
>  names like:

Eponymous names are not difficult to learn, if you know what the genus names 
refer to.


>       Chordata, Echinodermata, Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Porifera, Arthropoda, 
>  Insecta, Crustacea, Diplopoda, Cephalapoda, Gastropoda, Trilobita, 
>  Cirripedia, Tardigrada, Platyhelmintha, Agnatha, Anthozoa, Scyphozoa, 
Fungi, 
>  Chrysophyta, Xanthophyta, Phaeophyta, Chlorophyta, Ciliophora, 
Cryptophyta, 
>  Rhodophyta, Haptophyta, Dinophyta, Foraminifera, Ascomycetes, 
>  Basidiomycetes, Cyanobacteria, Eubacteria, Metazoa, Metaphyta, Plantae, 
>  Aves, Mammalia, Tetrapoda, Polychaeta, Pogonophora, Scaphopoda, 
Asteroidea, 
>  Actinopterygii, Sarcopterygii, etc.

Again, all fine, if given apomorphy-based definitions, where the names refer 
to apomorphies.  Agnatha??  Drop that one like a hot potato!


>       And I haven't even got down to Order level yet.  It has been proposed 
>  that Lepidoptera be replaced by PAPIONIFORMES (and it certainly wasn't 
me), 
>  and likewise for various other insect orders.  

I assume you mean PAPILIONIFORMES (since PAPIONIFORMES would refer to a 
baboon).  Not a terrible name.


>  And no more Chiroptera, 
>  Rodentia, Primates, Anura, Squamata, Dinosauria, and so on.

See above.

--Nick P.