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Re: Caudipteryx suffered from osteoarthritis

On 6 January 2012 13:21, Matthew Martyniuk <martyniuk@gmail.com> wrote:
> But nomenclatural claims, like the one in the title (that Caudipteryx
> is a "bird"), depend on subjective and arbitrary dividing lines.

No.  First, this is not a nomenclatural claim but a phylogenetic one.
And second, whether or not Caudipteryx is a bird depends objectively
on what definition of "bird" is used and what phylogeny is accepted.
All perfectly objective -- merely uncertain.

> Disagreements over phylogeny and ancestry aside, everyone agrees
> Caudipteryx is a stem-avian, and whether or not it should be called a
> "bird" is not a scientific question.

Sure it is.  For example, if we use the (Archaoteryx + Passer)
definition, then the question of whether Caudipteryx is a bird is the
question of whether it's in the clade (Archaopteryx + Passer) -- a
question than can be (and in fact can only be) approached

> Also, IIRC the Czerkas hypothesis in that volume was not BAND, but a
> weird BAD/MANIAC hybrid where Maniraptorans Are Not In Fact
> Coelurosaurs [...]

For the record, that's Maniraptorans Are Not In ACTUALITY Coelurosaurs
-- otherwise the acronym doesn't work.

-- Mike.