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Re: Small dinosaurs with feathers

StephanPickering@cs.com wrote:
> My jestful litigatory remarks are not to be misinterpreted as
> anything other than humour on my part, although I am not emending the
> crux of my ideas: dinosaurs = "birds" = dinosaurs

I'm all for calling birds dinosaurs, but the reverse isn't always true.
Saying "dinosaur=bird=dinosaur" is like saying "I am a primate. I am a
mammal. My cat is a mammal. Therefore, my cat is a primate". That's
false logic, and I doubt I could convince my cat to switch to a
frugivorous diet and start grooming me (although that last one would be
a pleasant change).

Birds ARE a type of theropod, and a type of dinosaur, and to extend it
further, a type of reptile. However, not all dinosaurs (or even
theropods) were birds. By all means call birds "extant dinosaurs" or
"extant avialan theropods", but if we take this to the extreme we'd be
calling them "extant mostly-volant reptiles" or "extant endothermic
archosaurs". Although all of these things may be true, unless everyone
agrees on a single title, confusion reigns supreme. 

Of course, it just so happens that there IS a single title that
describes extant avialan theropodian dinosaurian reptile craniates. And
it's much quicker and easier to type. "Bird" is one of those quick,
to-the-point terms that I wouldn't be surprised originated from a Saxon
word. I for one will keep using it, just as I'll keep saying "cat"
rather than "domesticated feline".


Dann Pigdon 
"Extant Hominid Mammal"
                            Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/