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RE: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy"
While I'm fine with using Aves for the crown clade, the fact MANIACs like
Burnham continue to think typologically is of no consequence. Martin,
Feduccia, Czerkas et al. will continue to misunderstand and misrepresent the
consensus view no matter what we do. These are the same people who think
theropods by definition don't climb, that saurischians's aren't necessarily
dinosaurs, that Maniraptora was the "last dinosaurian clade to develop
(i.e. a crown group)." They pay no attention to phylogenetic taxonomy or
anything else in our field that's emerged since the 70's.
> Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2011 17:02:34 +1000
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy"
> Anthony Docimo <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Okay. Let's assume we somehow get people to stop calling them _Aves_ and
> > "birds"...
> > They'll probably make those same assumptions when you start describing
> > those organisms (feathers, etc)
> Sadly, certain people will make those assumptions, even when they
> really ought to know better. For example, the following statement
> comes from as recently as 4 years ago (from Burnham, 2007; N. Jb.
> Geol. Palaont. Abh. 245: 33-44):
> "The caveat is that the evolution of birds is now
> tied to this new paradigm of flight origin whereby
> maniraptoran "dinosaurs" (e.g. _Microraptor_) are
> not only the progenitors of flight, but possess
> fundamental avian attributes, and therefore, must
> actually be birds themselves (Martin 2004;
> Feduccia et al. 2005)."
> The take-home message from this farrago of nonsense is that "avian" is
> still being (mis)used in a typological fashion. There is no such thing
> as a "fundamental avian attribute" - not feathers, not wings, not
> flight. The claims that these and other attributes are defining
> features of Aves, rather than arising in a stepwise fashion for
> various reasons, is one of the reasons why it is perhaps better to
> limit Aves to the crown-clade. That way, fossil theropods such as
> _Archaeopteryx_ and _Microraptor_ are not automatically assumed to
> belong to Aves, simply because they fit someone's nebulous,
> typological preconception of what a "bird" is.