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evelyn sobielski writes:
If they are used to denote major shifts in ecological
niche/ecomorphology, they are not arbitrary and
actually quite useful - as they will then also denote
a major shift in *how* evolution acts upon a lineage.
I get the impression that crocs are called reptiles mostly because of their
sprawling gait and ectothermy - both of which appear to be secondarily
re-aquired. Lumping crocs in with other reptiles inevitably drags the rest
of the archosaurs in with them - even if they don't live up the
sprawled-gaited, ectothermic stereotype.
Perhaps archosaurs deserve a class of their own? How about redefining Aves
to include the most recent common ancestors of birds and crocs? That'll set
a croc among the pigeons... :)
GIS / Archaeologist http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://heretichides.soffiles.com