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Re: New theropod phylogenetics paper



<<To be fair to Mr Gould, I think he's just trying to be clear, the same way
one might say "humans" are not "apes" (in the human-exclusive,
commonly-understood sense of the word "apes") since this upsets some people,
but that both are descended of a common ancestor. The analogy may appear
strained because there is no extant "dinosaur" in the popularly-understood
sense (for want of a better word, a "dragon"), which may be because the
vulgar definition seems to include their having left the stage at the K-T
Event.>>

Well that analogy is just as strained as Gould's.  Humans are nested within "apes" just like birds are nested within dinosaurs.  They're not sister taxa that evolved from common ancestors.  This is like saying that whales have evolved from a common ancestor with mammals, but aren't mammals. 

Pete Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com