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Re: New theropod phylogenetics paper



Vorompatra@aol.com wrote:

> However, mammals
> evolved from "reptiles," but we don't call them that, even if they are nested
> therein.

Are you using the term "reptile" to denote _anything_ that creeps on the ground,
as opposed to a particular amniote taxon?  Mammals are not descendants of
"reptiles" according to any scientific definition I know of, and my dictionary
(which readily accepts crabs and oysters as "fish") offers no such loose,
colloquial definition for "reptile."  Who uses the term "reptile" to mean "any 
of
a number of miscellaneous creeping animals" today, ancient Romans?

(He continues, mounting his soapbox): Will textbooks please relinquish the use 
of
the term, "mammal-like reptiles"?  It is nonsense, and leads to unnecessary
confusion.  On the other hand, the statement, "birds are dinosaurs," reflects
modern taxonomy, and leads to _necessary_ confusion!

Thank you,

---------Ralph W. Miller III
              ralph.miller@alumni.usc.edu

"I may nest, but I don't nest there!"