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RE: Phylogeny vs. taxonomy, and the Fightin' Dinos exhibit at AMNH (was RE: Rock'n'roll !)

> From: ELurio@aol.com [mailto:ELurio@aol.com]
> In a message dated 8/9/00 4:07:14 PM, tholtz@geol.umd.edu writes:
> << But Eric, you did not say "pretty much the same thing".
> Ken is writing that he would agree that birds are the descendants of
> dinosaurs (a statement of phylogeny), but that it is inappropriate to
> classify birds as a type of dinosaur (a statement of taxonomy).
> You argued that birds are not the descendants of dinosaurs: again, a
> statement of phylogeny >>
> Don't you hate it when people use other people's misquotes of what you
> allegedly said against you? I said that was possible that birds might be
> dinosaur decendants, and that it was possible that maniraptors weren't
> dinosaurs but "dinomimids" closely related to birds.

Actually, you said that maniraptorans and birds might be closely related,
but that this whole group might not be dinosaurs.
(see http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/2000Jun/msg00677.html)
This idea fails spectacularly in light of a number of fossils (_Scipionyx_,
Compsognathidae, _Ornitholestes_, _Coelurus_, etc.) which clearly link the
"classic" maniraptorans (oviraptorosaurs, troodontids, dromaeosaurids, and
birds) with carnosaurs and other basal tetanurines.

However, if you have yet another alternative hypotheses (i.e., that birds
are the descendants of the most recent common ancestor of _Iguanodon_ and
_Megalosaurus_, but that dromaeosaurids etc. are not), I'd be interested in
hearing it.

> This was during the
> Losgmata(sic) discussion, in which someone very angrilly chastised me for
> stating that someone should mount an expedition to find another one.

Actually, in checking in the archives, you were not chastised at all.
However, it was pointed out that that particular neck of the woods of
central Asia is unsafe for foreign travellers at present.  Here is Tim
William's informative posting:
As you can see, there was no malice in that, just clarification (and
specifically the mention of the kidnapping of the Japanese geologists)

(Personally, I'd love to get there when I don't have to worry about being

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843