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



David Marjanović <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

> Shortly thereafter, the original author (Jacques Gauthier)
> changed the definition to a node-based one, the MRCA of *Archaeopteryx* and
> modern birds plus all its descendants.

The first use of _Avialae_ as a node-based name (that I know of) was
in Wagner & Gauthier (1999: 5112):

"Avialae, node-based name for the clade stemming from the last common
ancestor shared by _Archaeopteryx_ and Aves"

> It was only in 2001 that Gauthier
> (with Julia Clarke) changed the definition to an apomorphy-based one: the
> first organism which had wings (with wing feathers) homologous to those of
> *Vultur gryphus* and some tinamou species, plus all its descendants.

Is there a 2001 paper co-authored by Gauthier and Clarke? I did not
find any. The apomorphy-based definition of _Avialae_ was published in
a 2001 paper, yes; but the paper was co-authored by Kevin de Queiroz
and the definition did not include a tinamou as a specifier:

"_"Avialae"_ refers to the clade stemming from the first panavian with
feathered wings homologous (synapomorphic) with those of _Aves_
(_Vultur gryphus_ Linnaeus 1758) and used for powered flight."

(Gauthier & de Queiroz 2001: 25)

Mike Keesey <keesey@gmail.com> wrote:

>  Look, there's already a good, well-thought-out solution. Use
>  neontological names for crown groups. Do it everywhere in biology.
>  Maximize cross-disciplinary understand. Limit unjustified
>  inferences.

But what if it is a vernacular name (like "birds") that is prone to
unjustified inferences? The examples presented by Gauthier and de
Queiroz (2001) all involved the term "birds", not _Aves_. You cannot
get rid of unjustified infereces unless you convince all biologists
that _Ichthyornis_ is not a "bird". Moving it out of _Aves_ is not
enough.


References:

Gauthier JA, de Queiroz K 2001 Feathered dinosaurs, flying dinosaurs,
crown dinosaurs, and the name "Aves". 7-41 in Gauthier JA, Gall LF,
eds. New Perspectives on the Origin and Early Evolution of Birds:
Proceedings of the International Symposium in Honor of John H. Ostrom.
New Haven: Yale Univ Press

Wagner GP, Gauthier JA 1999 1,2,3 5 2,3,4: A solution to the problem
of the homology of the digits in the avian hand. Proc Natl Acad Sci
USA 96: 5111-6
-- 
David Černý