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Re: The Papers That Ate Cincinnati



T. Michael Keesey wrote:

Which ones? I welcome correction from a native speaker, but I think
none of the common words for "bird" in the extant Romance languages
are cognate with Latin "avis". Examples:
- French: oiseau
- Italian: uccello
- Portuguese: pÃssaro
- Romanian: pasÄre
- Spanish: pÃjaro

Got me there. David Marjanovic said it was the case some of the threads, and I assumed he was right (he knows a lot more about it me!).


No, that's an apomorphy-based clade.

No, I disagree. A change of behaviour (such as deciding to flap, jumping out of a tree, running up a log, whatever) may or may not go with a corresponding apomorphy.


It's equivalent to _Avialae_
sensu Gauthier and de Queiroz, 2001. And even if the exact content is
difficult to determine, it's still potentially useful, being a real
entity relevant to discussions of the origin of flight.

It's not just a difficulty with content, it's extraordinarily difficult (I would argue nigh on impossible) to determine which apomorphy is the right one for predicting powered flight. Form and function are not so closely tied as all that, and the functional morphology is complex and contentious. In either case, the concepts are clearly distinct.


The idea of not defining the name "Aves" at all was discussed here:
http://www.phylonames.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19&start=59