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Re: "Yale settles debate: Birds are dinosaurs"

John Brigman (timlee3005@earthlink.net) wrote:

<I would never call someone's pet parakeet a dinosaur for the same reason
I wouldn't refer to any other animal by the name of it's ancestors, "My
what a cute theropod dinosaur descendant you have in that cage, what's
it's name?">

  However, you are an ape, even if in some circles apes are only ancestral
to you, to your exclusion. The statement is that a collective usage for an
animal and its descendants applies to its descendants. The name Dinosauria
is intended to apply to a natural, historical grouping deriving from an
ancestral species and ending in the hundreds of species we recognize from
the fossil record -- the late-1800's/early-1900's and revivalized 1960's
onward argument that birds descend from some form of dinosaur or from some
theropods specifically argues that the group Dinosauria is not exclusive
of their extant descendants, however one was taught to treat them in grade
school, but as members of Dinosauria. Thus, they would be dinosaurs.
Common usage wouldn't deal much with "dinosaur" as much as groups within,
as in "trikes," "birds," "sauropods," "segnosaurs," etc.

  You have a bird in your cage, even if it is a descendant of some
theropods, it is a dinosaur, rather than a dino-descendant (as if, at some
point, like the ape, we stopped being an ape, and birds stopped being 

Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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