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Re: Genes show Neoaves branching before K/Pg extinction

On Sat, Sep 15, 2012 at 12:07 PM, David Černý <david.cerny1@gmail.com> wrote:
>> You imply that Ratitae is defined by character states...
> Of course -- it's even implied in the name itself.

So? Etymology is not definition.

> Is there any other option?

Yes, Gauthier & de Queiroz (2001) provided a ...

> Gauthier & de Queiroz (2001) provided a phylogenetic definition for the name,

Oh, you already knew that.

> but I'm fairly sure that hardly any ornithologists have ever heard of it.

Most ornithologists don't deal with palaeognathes, anyway.

> It's also impractical, as it would refer only to _Struthio_ (and maybe 
> _Palaeotis_) under the current phylogenetic hypothesis.

This is quite a good point. An unrestricted emendation
(http://www.ohio.edu/phylocode/art15.html#art15.11) is probably in
order. One idea would be to add one or more internal specifiers
(perhaps Rhea americana and/or Casuarius casuarius) such that the
definition is empty if tinamous nest inside.

T. Michael Keesey