[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Are dinosaurs really reptiles?
That's a question of how to define the name "Reptilia", and that's a matter
of convention, not one of discovery.
In a phylogenetic systematics (a classification system that takes into
account only derived - evolutionarily novel - characteristics)
Wait, wait. There is not "a systematics" -- systematics is how to make
classifications and/or how to put species into an existing classification.
Phylogenetic systematics is a little-used synonym of cladistics, which is a
method of the science of phylogenetics (reconstructing the tree of life),
not of systematics; you can use the resulting trees for making
classifications, or not.
What you actually mean is phylogenetic _nomenclature_: only clades =
monophyletic groups are named, and ranks do not matter for the spelling or
synonymy of names.
(I must add a lot of citations to that article, among other things.)
Most researches agree that Reptilia is a group that include
crocodiles, turtles, lizzards, snakes, tuataras their most recent
common ancestor and all its descendants.
This definition is used by very few people, actually. Most either continue
to use it for all amniotes that aren't birds or mammals (thus not using
phylogenetic nomenclature), or don't use the term at all. (I've also seen
geneticists use it for Lepidosauria, though probably just because they
didn't care about what they were saying.)
(Robert T Bakker once argued to elect a class to dinosaurs - including
birds - but he was not using the phylogenetic way of thought.)
Not so much "thought" as "nomenclature".