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



On 03.08.2011 14:54 CEST, David Černý wrote:

 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"

Thank you.

> 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."

Sorry, I had confused this paper with another chapter of the same volume. I don't have the book here with me.

> 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.

I emphatically agree.