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RE: Kileskus and Proceratosauridae



Re: "Monophyletic clade" as a tautology

  I think that while the point of it being brought up in the paper was 
interesting in itself (for example, why it wasn't brought up in a larger 
context, aimed specifically at violations of this argument) which is why I 
repeated the comments about it.

  It is true, in fact, that "monophyletic clade" may be a tautology, but this 
is in a strict use of "clade" based on the idea of such a structure as it was 
originally defined. Lately, the term "clade" has been coopted to refer to any 
structure of a tree that can be conceived without regard to a specific 
ancestor-descendant relationship. It could, for example, be used to contain a 
paraphyletic arrangement, and create a paraphyletic clade, which is hardly an 
inconsistent phrase as this has also seen print with few arguments taken 
against it. Is this then an example of an evolving terminology? Would it be 
consistent, then, to argue that "paraphyletic" and "clade" cannot be used to 
describe a singular structure?

Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden

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