[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: What is big, fluffy, and could tear you to shreds? Yutyrannus, the 9 m long feathered tyrannosauroid from China

On Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 12:18 AM, Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com> wrote:
> Matthew Martyniuk <martyniuk@gmail.com> wrote:
> I think equating "Aves" (clade) with "birds" (a vernacular term) is
> itself fraught with problems - unless Aves is limited to the crown
> clade.

No disagreement there, but it's not wrong, just a matter of semantics.

> IMHO, even
> calling _Archaeopteryx_ a "bird" is tricky.  It has spawned all sorts
> of unwanted assumptions regarding _Archaeopteryx_'s behavior - such as
> it was capable of powered flight, and could perch in trees.

That's a problem with the poor scientists who make such assumptions
rather than test hypotheses, not with the words that lead them to do
so. If people historically assumed Archie had a reversed hallux
because of it's name or classification, that's poor science, period.
Making changes to the terminology to force people into doing good
science is not the way to correct this problem. They'll simply find a
different way to justify their evidence-free assumptions.