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Re: Phylogenetic taxonomic definitions in Xiaotingia paper



 I'm reading today's posts from the earliest to the latest, so if this
 has been said, I will hope I am not retreading old ground:

Well, we've all had these discussions several times in the last few years, so don't worry about one more repetition :-)

 I'd rather see re-invented definitions of old clade names than people
 coining new names for new definitions.

Completely new concepts should come with completely new names. Shifting the meanings of names around too much increases confusion -- just like inventing new names for each tiny shift in meaning would.

Have you noticed how the term "birds" is used in the discussion triggered by *Xiaotingia*? It's used as a branch-based name for everything closer to Neornithes than to traditional non-birds like velociraptorines, dromaeosaurines, troodontids, oviraptorosaurs and the like. That's how the definition of Avialae by Xu et al. maps to their tree. I think Aves should be defined that way (more carefully, means, with more external specifiers); that's the closest thing to a traditional meaning it has, and it literally means "birds" not just in Latin, but also in (higher styles of) today's Spanish and Portuguese.

 (Mickey, I'm a world-class complainer, and _I'm_ glaring at
 _you_...)

You're _complaining_ about him. :-)