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English taxonomy Re: The Aussie ?tyrannosaur?



Jura wrote:
>
> While I would argue that _Tyrannosaurus_ fits under reptile, a whole lot
> better than _Tyrannus_ (or any bird save maybe the archaeopterygiformes),
> that is irrelevant to the point in question.

Actually, it fits the definition *precisely as well* for the big guy as
the little bug eater.

> That point being: If you want to go around proclaiming that "birds are
> dinosaurs" all the time, then you have no choice but to accept that
> dinosaurs are also reptiles. Encouraging one while denying the other is
> simply invoking a double standard.

David: Jason's got you dead to rights right there!!

> I'm not sure. I also don't know why there is this current trend in
> dinosaur paleontology to refer to turkeys and chickens as "living
> dinosaurs" instead of calling them birds, avians, galliformes, or any
> number of other more familiar, and more specific terms.

If by "current trend" you mean "something that has been going on since the
1980s" (and thus longer than the life span of a substantial fraction of
the people reading this list...), it was promoted for two reasons:'
1) to alert the general public to the then-new discovery that birds were
in fact descendants of dinosaurs
2) to inform the general public of the shift in taxonomic practice to
emphasize monophyletic groups.

-- 
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA