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Re: Dinosaur Genera List update #192

On Saturday, September 7, 2002, at 08:34 PM, Stephan Pickering wrote:

Re: ARCHAEOVOLANS below. You [Dinogeorge] write:
   Nondinosaurian: bird.
This is scientifically incorrect,

Not if one is using Linnean nomenclature.

and not supportable
by any evidentiary standards of phylogenetic analysis
(either osteological or soft anatomy).
It should read: Avian theropod.

We have had this "avian theropod" thing out before, but here it goes again. Why are these two particular clades the "right" ones? Why not "maniraptoran saurischians" or "archosaurian vertebrates"?

We have a more serious problem here, what clade are you referring to when you use the term "avian"? Aves? Archaeovolens is almost certainly not part of the clade you have recently argued should rightfully bear the name "Aves".

Stephan, you seem to be in a nomenclatural mess, arguing that people should use term "avian theropod" instead of "bird" , when it is far from clear what you mean by

So, clear this up for us: what is an "avian"? Is Archaeopteryx? How about Confuciusornis? When you use it are you refering to a particular clade, or is it just vernacular?

There have not existed, and do not exist now, taxa
which can be described as a "nondinosaurian"

There are such taxa - linnean ones - and however much we disagree (I am on your side on this) we must recognize that such groups are used by many good scientists.

There are nonavian dinosaurs, indeed, but one cannot
use the vernacular word "bird", somehow divorcing its
phylogeny from other theropods (200 synapomorphies, if
not considerably more, disprove your wording, placing
avian dinosaurs within Maniraptora).

Why does using the word "bird" divorce their phylogeny from other theropods for you Stephan? Why should it, when using terms like "duckbill" does not preclude hadrosaurids from being part of larger clades?

Let us try to keep a clear understanding of what issues are phylogenetic, and which are nomenclatural or linguistic. The word 'bird" does not preclude inclusion in a larger group, and has no bearing on arguments about phylogeny, as you seem to be implying.

John Conway, Palaeoartist

"All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde

Systematic ramblings: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/
Palaeoart: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/_palaeoart.html