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RE: Who says dromaeosaurs can't fly?



At 03:12 PM 16/09/02 +0000, Brian Lauret wrote:
I think we're getting a bit off subject by now.But I do want to give my view on the entire issue.
I personally think the earliest evolution of birds may be unresolvable by cladistic methods because I view the earliest bird (this is very debatable of course,it's totally conjectural from my side) as the earliest arboreal dinosaur with at the ability to fly.

Well, on what basis do you make this assumption? What is an "ability to fly", anyway? And why are you defining a taxonomic group on an undemonstrable and unmeasurable character (rather than, say, a set of reasonably unequivocal morphological features)? It seems to me the problem is with your definition of birds, not with cladistic methods. But I don't see why cladistics cannot be used to define any taxonomic group including all species stemming from a common ancestor, whatever that ancestor was.


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