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Re: birds and/or/with dino's

Nick Pharris <npharris@umich.edu> wrote:

> Or we could just use Paraxonia for Artiodactyla + Cetacea
> (assuming cetaceans aren't crown artiodactyls, as I
> increasingly suspect they are).  

I lean the other way: that cetaceans are *not* crown artiodactyls at all 
(despite - or maybe because of - what the molecular analyses say).  But I 
certainly agree that cetaceans and artiodactyls (and mesonychians) form a 
unique clade.  

> Doesn't Paraxonia also
> include things like mesonychians, anyway?

Although Paraxonia started out as an alternative of Artiodactyla (in the same 
way that Mesaxonia was another name for Perissodactyla), I have seen Paraxonia 
used for a much larger clade that includes artiodactyls, cetaceans, 
mesonychians and a few other ex-condylarths.  It may have been O'Leary &c 
(1998) in "The Emergency of Whales" that came up with that, but I'm not at all 

> Clade names like Cetartiodactyla, formed as mashups of two
> existing names, have always rubbed me the wrong way. 
> In what sense are pigs, camels, fin whales, and spectacled
> porpoises "whale-even-toed"?  What does that even
> mean?

Names coined for novel clades recovered by molecular analysis are unfortunately 
notorious for these kind of monikers (Cetartiodactyla, Euarchontoglires, 
Pegasoferae, etc).

To bring this thread back to dinosaurs, the name Cerapoda is the same kind of 
mashup, as an arbitrary fusion of Ceratopsia and Ornithopoda.