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




 
> Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2011 07:11:22 +0000
> From: keenir@hotmail.com
> To: tijawi@gmail.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
> > 
> Roberto Takata <rmtakata@gmail.com> wrote:
 > 
> >>Yet another reason why the definition of "Aves" should not rest on
 > >> _Archaeopteryx_.
 > > I think it doesn't matter that much. Tree *topology* is more important
 > > than names. We could restrict Aves as crown-group or include
 > > Dromeosaurinae: the phylogenetical relationships will be the same.
 > 
> In general, I agree that a rose is a rose. But in the case of 'Aves',
 > the name has a lot of undesirable typological baggage, because being a
 > member of clade Aves has been equated with being a "bird" in the
 > vernacular sense.
 
It's a mystery why that would be. :)
 
Rather than simply surrendering to the threat of baggage, maybe explain to 
people (however young*) how members of _Aves_ differ from one another.
 
* = _Dinosaur Train_ is a great show, but it can't do the job alone.
 
> The inclusion of forms like _Archaeopteryx_ and
 > _Jeholornis_ in Aves leads (and potentially misleads) people into
 > extrapolating behaviors of extant birds to these and other fossil
 > "birds" that are much further down the tree. In other words, being a
 > member of Aves makes an animal a "bird", and therefore gives rise to
 > the assumption that they possessed behaviors that we associate with
 > extant birds, but which have little or no supporting evidence - such
 > as powered flight or perching.
 
Okay. Let's assume we somehow get people to stop calling them _Aves_ and 
"birds"...
 
They'll probably make those same assumptions when you start describing those 
organisms (feathers, etc)
 
>