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Re: Dinosauria---Rejected Name?
In a message dated 2/22/02 7:37:59 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> 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
> 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
> Chordata, Echinodermata, Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Porifera, Arthropoda,
> Insecta, Crustacea, Diplopoda, Cephalapoda, Gastropoda, Trilobita,
> Cirripedia, Tardigrada, Platyhelmintha, Agnatha, Anthozoa, Scyphozoa,
> Chrysophyta, Xanthophyta, Phaeophyta, Chlorophyta, Ciliophora,
> Rhodophyta, Haptophyta, Dinophyta, Foraminifera, Ascomycetes,
> Basidiomycetes, Cyanobacteria, Eubacteria, Metazoa, Metaphyta, Plantae,
> Aves, Mammalia, Tetrapoda, Polychaeta, Pogonophora, Scaphopoda,
> 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
> 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.