[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: small dinosaurs with feathers
On Monday, July 1, 2002, at 12:40 AM, 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,
Or: Aves = birds = Aves
An important point here:the words "dinosaur" and "bird" are not
synonymous, they have different meanings. So "dinosaurs = "birds" =
dinosaurs," is incorrect.
and to break the mind-set of vernacularism
In this case the vernacular is correct, birds form a clade. There is no
problem here. If it ain't broke, don't fix it (or break it).
we should, with delight, use the word (or combinations of words)
"theropod" to describe living taxa.
On the DML you are preaching to the converted about birds being
dinosaurs. But that doesn't stop birds from being birds. I will continue
to use the term "bird" when I mean bird, because it is efficient and
If, in scientific discussion and dialogue, we are going to use the word
"bird", it should always be put in quotation marks.
Well, we will all switch to using "Aves" (no quotation marks necessary)
instead. Will that make you happy?
However arrogant, annoying, or confusing, I have spent a lifetime with
pre-K/T dinosaurs, and can view extant avialian theropods.
Here's the problem: "extant avialian theropods" is a bit of mouthful,
and takes a long time to write. Birds = Aves, and is just as precise,
but is a lot shorter. Plus, people who are not familiar with the
Dinosauria and phylogenetic taxonomy will know what it means.
Our goal should be precision
"Birds" is more precise than "dinosaurs". It also has an advantage over
such terms as "post K/T dinosaurs" (meaning Aves) in that it doesn't
rely on a presumption that all non-avian theropods went extinct at the
-- those who would deny dinosaurs = "birds" (they are the "scholars"
with a fetish for "bird" baths) are to be countered at every
opportunity with factuality.
Maybe so, but this best done with reasoned argument, not just calling a
bird an "extant avialian theropod".
For me, it is a never-ending source of wonder that, even after the
bollide impact, and unimaginable environmental stresses, some theropods
survived, and survive today.
Yes, but ALL those theropods were and are birds. If precision is our
aim, then why not say "bird", it is more precise than "theropod".
John Conway, Palaeoartist
"All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde
Systematic ramblings: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/phylogenetic/