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In a message dated 6/15/03 9:05:11 PM EST, email@example.com writes:
<< I think it would only be tautological if there were some other component
definition of _Aves_, but the only assumption it really rests on is that
_Archaeopteryx_ and _Neornithes_ share a common ancestor. >>
>Any< two organisms share a common ancestor, so this assumption is trivial.
What this (or any similar) definition of Aves presupposes is that (when, say,
defined as the common ancestor of Neornithes and Archaeopteryx) Aves doesn't
also include a whole bunch of organisms that one would rather not see in Aves
(such as, perhaps, oviraptorid dinosaurs, therizinosaurs, etc.).