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RE: Sheesh




> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
>
> T. Michael Keesey writes:
> >>> More suprising still, to me, is the absence of secondarily aquatic
> >>> dinosaurs.  So far as we can tell, they didn't make it back to the
> >>> sea once in 150 million years,
> > 
> > One subclade has done so repeatedly....
> 
> [*Draws deep breath*.  Please excuse me, Mike, I am not getting at you
> particularly but this message is the straw that breaks this camel's
> back.]
> 
> Ahem.
> 
> ALL RIGHT!  We GET IT!  We ALL UNDERSTAND that birds are dinosaurs.
> 
> Now can we please -- just occasionally -- have a conversation where,
> when someone uses the word "dinosaur" in a context where is very, very
> obviously means "non-avian dinosaur", they are allowed to do so
> without half a dozen people leaping down their throats waving their
> big cladistic banners?
> 
> Please?

Honestly, to do so is to just be wrong.

Let's try this a different way:

Why in their history did dinosaurs never evolve into giant multiton long necked 
herbivores?

:-)

So, let's ACTUALLY look at the situation, and perhaps ask the evolutionarily 
interesting question:

Why did no dinosaurs become marine until the advanced ornithurines? (E.g., 
hesperornithiforms and various neornithines)

At that point, the question starts to become a) interesting and b) possibly 
investigatable.

Keesey, keep flying the banners high so that we keep people honest!

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
        Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742  
     
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796