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RE: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy"



> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Matthew Martyniuk
> Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2011 8:22 AM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy"
> 
> To be fair, this again depends on how you define Aves. The 
> oldest phylogenetic definition published for Aves is an 
> apomorphy-based on anchored on the presence of feathers 
> (Charig, 1985). In this usage (which is just as valid as any 
> other pre-PhyloCode), feathers are not only a fundamental 
> avian attribute, they are the *defining* attribute of Aves.
> 
> (How you define 'feather' is another story).
> 
> Matt

I find it highly unlikely that Charig defined ANYTHING phylogenetically! What 
is his actual statement? I suspect it something more
along the line of "Aves is defined by the presence of feathers"; if so, that is 
simply traditional pre-cladistic gradistic
classification. On the other hand, a statement along the lines of "Aves is that 
entire branch of the tree of life descended from the
first feathered animal", that is a fairer claim to a phylogenetic defintion.