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Re: Turtles and Crocodylians are not Reptiles - no? What are they?

I know that lizards adn salamanders don't belong together. So do most people I know. One is a reptile and the other is an amphibian. Of course, I do know an unusually high proportion of people who can read.

I remembered since yesterday that crocodiles MUST be reptiles if dinosaurs are reptiles, because they're very closely related to dinosaurs and have teh same advanced brain structure. (Unlike dem tynaptids whose brains contain mostly empty space filled with water.)

This discussion is starting to sound like some scientists proving that hte synapsid brain contains mostly empty space adn water. ;) The bird brains in the big cage behind me are nodding their heads knowingly. Particularly since they've just been categorized out of existence.

But if dinosaurs aren't reptiles - is there such a thing?

Dora Smith
Austin, TX
----- Original Message ----- From: "David Marjanovic" <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
To: "DML" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 3:11 AM
Subject: Re: Turtles and Crocodylians are not Reptiles - no? What are they?

Seriously, if turtles and crocodiles aren't reptiles, what are tehy?

Easy. Turtles are turtles and crocodiles are crocodiles. The same way that mammals are mammals and birds are birds.

In layman's terms, now. Highly technical categories that noone knows what they mean won't do anybody any good! ""Lepidosauria"" sounds like a matter of how many angels can dance on the end of a pin.

"Reptilia" _has never been_ a layman's term. How many people around you know that lizards and salamanders don't belong together?

Mind you, I understand why that not even frogs are amphibians - even if my nephews are haplessly trying to raise a bunch of tadpoles in a fish bowl. Well, now, we know they aren't amphibians, because if they were actually on their way to evolving into reptiles, they'd be smart enough to jump out of the bowl and demand a water change.

That was supposed to be funny, right?

Seriously, who came up with this stuff - a parrot?    LOLOLOLOL!  Well, I
needed a good laugh.

If you're old enough to have nephews, you should have shed your naive, hapless arrogance long ago... sometimes, you see, if something is counterintuitive to you, that just means you have a bit more to learn.

That said, while restricting Reptilia to the lepidosaurs _is_ the best way to save that name, I'm in favor of dropping the name Reptilia altogether. It comes with way too much historical baggage. Call Lepidosauria Lepidosauria.