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Re: Archeopteryx what is bird or dinosaur?
To add some clarity (or to further obfuscate):
Effectively, assuming a "bird" is being used as plain-language for
members of Aves, then it depends on whether or not Aves is defined as
the most inclusive clade containing Archaeopteryx and modern birds (in
which case, Archaeopteryx is a bird), or if Aves is restricted to the
crown-clade (in which case, Archaeopteryx is not a bird).
I used to be in favor of the former definition to maintain historical
content, but herein lately, I wonder if restricting Aves to the
crown-clade would be a better choice. I'm positive this has been
argued _ad nauseam_ on the list before, so referring to the DML
archives (http://dml.cmnh.org/) on this matter would be a better
choice than once again rehashing it out. :-)
On Sun, Apr 27, 2008 at 7:32 AM, David Marjanovic
> > I believe the question being asked here is whether Archaeopteryx was a
> bird or a non-avian dinosaur---something I wonder myself, and
> paleontologists have apparently yet to confidently determine.
> That's a complex interplay of definition and discovery. Given the same
> phylogenetic position, Archie is or is not a bird depending on the
> definition of Aves.