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RE: Caudipteryx suffered from osteoarthritis

  People can doubt that penguins are birds, just as when they can doubt that 
tomatoes are fruit, because there was a general impression that penguins were 
fish, like whales. Definitions of vernacular are much more flexible than you 
give it credit for, but you seem to want to treat the term as representative of 
a phylogenetic hypothesis. Matt already responded, I think adequately, to this 
point by arguing that the definition of "bird" is not fixed, and I argued on my 
own that the authors treat "bird" as a sacred cow. They are not using a 
phylogenetic concept here, and in fact argue against cladistic analysis and 
phylogenetic nomenclature in some cases (Mickey Mortimer or others may be able 
to clarify on this better than I, as he's been collecting the damned things for 
more completely than I).


  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 16:43:56 +0000
> From: mike@indexdata.com
> To: keesey@gmail.com
> CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Caudipteryx suffered from osteoarthritis
> On 6 January 2012 16:39, Mike Keesey  wrote:
> > On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 7:59 AM, Robert Schenck  wrote:
> >>
> >> Right, which is pretty much beyond 'old fashioned' and down-right
> >> anti-biological. I've gotten the impression that many ornithologists,
> >> even if they accept the evolutionary relationship between dinosaurs
> >> and birds, will still never give it up that Birds are Dinosaurs.  Its
> >> not the craziest thing in some ways, sort like saying 'Humans
> >> descended from amphibians, but Human's are not Amphibians (HANA)' ( of
> >> course amphibian has a loose meaning, while dinosaur has a strict
> >> one).
> >
> > Not the best example, since, when converted to a clade, "Amphibia" is
> > restricted to the lissamphibian total group or the lissamphibian crown
> > group (depending on the author). It isn't ever used as a synonym for
> > "Tetrapoda" (or "Apo-Tetrapoda"). Your general point holds, though --
> > there's a lot of resistance to phylogenetic nomenclature.
> And yet no-one doubts that penguins, which lack feathers and flight,
> are birds. Why? Because they're descended from incontrovertible
> birds. Deep in the depths of their hearts, even BANDits are actually
> phylogenetic taxonomists.
> -- Mike.