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

David Černý <david.cerny1@gmail.com> wrote:

> But only because _Hesperornis_ and _Ichthyornis_ were believed to be
> modern birds when Gadow coined the name. _Ichthyornis_ was classified
> as a charadriiform and _Hesperornis_ as a relative of extant "ratites"
> (Newton 1884), penguins (Beddard 1898), or loons and grebes
> (Fürbringer 1888). Would you be willing to extend Charadriiformes to
> the _Ichthyornis_ node and _Ratitae_, _Sphenisciformes_, or
> Gaviomorphae to the _Hesperornis_ node as well? The logic behind this
> decision would be the same one that you use in the case of
> _Neornithes_.

Not quite.  Charadriiformes and Sphenisciformes were specifically
erected as 'orders' - like every bird group that ends as '-formes'.
So their application is somewhat restricted.   As defined by Clarke et
al. (2003), Pansphenisciformes (any by extension its sub-clade
Sphenisciformes) was actually precluded from including any extant taxa
that were not penguins, which conforms with this intent.

As for Gaviomorphae... I notice that Livezey and Zusi (2007)
appropriated this name for a Gaviiformes + Podicipediformes clade,
which is more limited in content than its original usage
(Hesperornithiformes + Gaviiformes + Podicipediformes).  If nothing
else, it demonstrates old how names can be recycled, even if the
contents differ.  Although I don't in any way recommend the
classification put forward in Livezey and Zusi (2007).

>> So if we were to drag Neornithes down a few nodes... no big deal.
> It would just contradict the way the name has been applied for the
> last 30 years. Really, no big deal :o)

30 years, huh?  That sounds relatively recent to me.  :-)  It's only
fairly recently that Aves was put inside Dinosauria.  We're still
arguing over the definition and content of Aves, which has included
_Archaeopteryx_ for far more than 30 years (closer to 130 years).
That argument alone shouldn't have any bearing on whether or not Aves
SHOULD include _Archaeopteryx_.  So I'm quite comfortable with an
amended definition of Neornithes that's a little more inclusive than
just the crown clade.