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Re: Archaeopteryx

--- Colin McHenry <cmchenry@westserv.net.au> wrote:
> Heinz Peter Bredow wrote
>  >
> > Archaeoptery is a bird by definition.

I disagree.
_Archaeopteryx_ is avian by definition. "Avian" and "bird" don't have to be the
same thing. The former has a rigorous scientific definition (or, at least, the
formal taxon it's derived from does); the latter is a loosey-goosey, purely
vernacular term.

> > Aves is defined as Archaeopteryx + Neornithes. So whatever will be found
> > by further examination of fossils of Archaeopteryx,
> > Archaeopteryx will always stay inside Aves, always being a bird.

So replace "bird" with "avian".
> Am I the only person who finds this to be a bit tautological?

If you have a better definition for _Aves_, let us know.
(Incidentally, some researchers do use a different definition, a crown group
equivalent to _Neornithes_.)

I think it would only be tautological if there were some other component to the
definition of _Aves_, but the only assumption it really rests on is that
_Archaeopteryx_ and _Neornithes_ share a common ancestor.

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