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Re: Even more last papers for 2005



Tim Williams wrote-

Senter, P. (2005). Phylogenetic taxonomy and the names of the major archosaurian (Reptilia) clades . PaleoBios 25: 1-7.

Abstract: "Much disagreement exists as to what names to apply to the major clades of the reptilian taxon Archosauria. Even among practitioners of phylogenetic taxonomy, there has been a tendency to apply the principles of phylogenetic taxonomy to the naming of some archosaurian clades while resisting the principles of phylogenetic taxonomy for other clades. Here, the principles of phylogenetic taxonomy are applied to the major clades of Archosauria, and the correct names for these clades within the paradigm of phylogenetic taxonomy are delineated. Within this paradigm, the names of the major archosaurian clades are as follows. Archosauria: the most exclusive clade containing Crocodylia and Aves. Archosauriformes: the most exclusive clade containing _Proterosuchus_ and Archosauria. Pseudosuchia: the most inclusive clade within Archosauria that includes Crocodylia but not Aves. Crurotarsi: the most exclusive clade containing Parasuchia, Ornithosuchidae, _Prestosuchus_, and Suchia. Ornithosuchia: the most inclusive clade within Archosauria that includes Aves but not Crocodylia. Ornithodira: the most exclusive clade containing Pterosauria, _Scleromochlus_ and Dinosauromorpha. Avialae: the most inclusive clade containing ornithuran birds but not deinonychosaurian theropods. Aves: the most exclusive clade containing _Archaeopteryx_ and extant birds. Neornithes: the most exclusive and extant birds. [sic]"

I have to say I'm a little underwhelmed by some of these definitions. I especially hate the definition of Pseudosuchia. I think Sereno is dead right when he threw Pseudosuchia on the dung heap. Worst of all, Pseudosuchia is defined by Senter to include crocodylians. So, let me get this straight... Pseudosuchia, which means "false crocodiles", now includes crocodiles. Terrific.

I must agree regarding the definitions. However, I don't think etymology should matter when it comes to Pseudosuchia. The more important factor is that Pseudosuchia didn't include crocodilians when it was originally named - it included two aetosaurs and Dyoplax. What's more disturbing is that Senter defines Ornithosuchia in a way which probably excludes Ornithosuchus, which has been noted as a flaw in this definition for several years. None of the definitions are new, and if the abstract is any clue, they don't use species level OTU's. Sigh.


Mickey Mortimer