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At 09:09 PM 06/03/02 +0000, fabian Abu-Nasser wrote:
just saw the reuters news item on feathers in a non-avian dinosaur. Does this mean that the original archeopteryx specimen could be from a dinosaur rather than a bird? If so does it render the name archaeopteryx obsolete?

Archaeopteryx has long been regarded by most authorities as, in effect, both a dinosaur and a bird (especially if birds are, as they certainly seem to be, derived dinosaurs). This has nothing to do with the name "Archaeopteryx". Scientific names do not change because a species' classification changes, unless the species is transferred to a different genus. For example, the extinct horned turtle Meiolania was originally described as a carnivorous lizard (its name means "lesser ripper"). Once it was realized that it was, in fact, a turtle, its classification changed - but the name "Meiolania" did not.

Anyway, rules aside, the name "Archaeopteryx", which means "ancient wing", remains wholly appropriate.

Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
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