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RE:



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> fabian Abu-Nasser
> Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2002 4:09 PM
>
> 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?

Actually, under modern systems of classification _Archaeopteryx_ is both a
bird and a dinosaur, just as a "flying fox" is both a bat and a mammal.

>  If so does it render the name archaeopteryx
> obsolete?

Not at all.  Most importantly, names in biological nomenclature don't change
simply because of understanding of the biology of the animal changes.  We
still call the early long-bodied whale _Basilosaurus_ even though it isn't a
reptile.

Also, the name "_Archaeopteryx_" simply means "ancient wing", which still
applies as a good description.

Hope this helps.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796