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Re: Thanks to everyone
I've decided that I'm going to tell them that "dinosaur" does not mean any
prehistoric animal, but a specific group unified by several small skeletal
details (for example, the fused vertebrae mentioned on the website of one
of the posters here) that all dinosaurs inherited from a common ancestor
about 230 million years ago. I will tell them that any descendent of that
ancestor is a true dinosaur.
Rather make it the other way around: that ancestor, and all its descendants,
are dinosaurs; which animals are descendants and which are not can be
_recognized_ by those features. Emphasize the distinction between what _is_
and how we _know_ about it.