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Re: Are dinosaurs really reptiles?

On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 8:40 AM,  <dinoboygraphics@aol.com> wrote:
> The arguement (which I sympathize with) is that the original
> definition of reptile (non-mammalian synapsids and diapsids excluding avian
> theropods)

Actually, the original usage (by Linnaeus) was for a group of worms.
Linnaeus later reconsidered, and used the name for a group including
nto only the traditional reptiles, but amphibians and sharks(!) as

Of course, you mean the "traditional usage", not the "original definition".

I also lean toward leaving the name out of formal nomenclature. Maybe
there's some usage for it as an informal ecological term for
ectothermic terrestrial vertebrates which lay eggs on land (note that
that's not phylogenetic, since crocodylians may be secondarily

Of course, this potentially leaves the crown group of testudines,
lepidosaurs, and archosaurs without a name. (_Diapsida_ would suffice
under some phylogenetic hypotheses, but not ones where testudines are
outside of lepidosaurs + archosaurs.)
T. Michael Keesey
Director of Technology
Exopolis, Inc.
2894 Rowena Avenue Ste. B
Los Angeles, California 90039