[Taxacom] feathered flying fish

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at earthlink.net
Wed Mar 25 22:11:51 CDT 2009

On 2009-03-25 18:40, Kenneth Kinman wrote:
>         So your ichthyologist friend considers himself a
> fish?

Yes. He specializes in teleosts, though, and does not regard himself to 
be a teleost.

> Sponges are also probably paraphyletic, so I guess he would
> consider himself a sponge too.

I'm guessing he doesn't have an opinion on that one. At the height of 
his career, I think most people still thought of sponges as monophyletic.

> Bryophyta is paraphyletic, so does that
> mean cacti are bryophytes?

I don't know many cladists who use the term "bryophyte"; it was already 
ambiguous in that it could be used either for the moss clade or for the 
non-xylem-producing land plants. Cacti are certainly land plants.

>        Anyway, this is the first time I've ever heard birds call
> "feathered flying fish", even in jest. To me all this just further
> demonstrates the absurdity of paraphylophobia and compulsive obsessions
> with strict cladifications.      

It seems to me than any scholar should be able to consider a half-dozen 
contradictory ideas at the same time. For a Red Queen, they can even be 
impossible and before breakfast. IMO, the only issue is usefulness to 
non-scholars, and of course we disagree about that.

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Director, I&IT Web Development                   +1 909 979 6371
University Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona

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