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Old 03-06-2017, 01:58 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
This is kind of like the monkeys and apes thing where pedants used to be able to "correct" people who referred to apes as monkeys. As it turns out, cladistically speaking apes are just one kind of monkey (being more closely related to Old World Monkey than the latter are to New World Monkeys). If snakes are just legless lizards, there isn't too much justification for insisting that other kinds of legless lizards aren't snakes.
But isn't it the case that classic snakes form a real clade (within "lizards"), but the various random legless lizards that aren't snakes are not members of that clade?

So snake doesn't just have to mean "a lizard without legs". Just like "ape" doesn't have to mean "a monkey with no tail".

Agreed that apes are a kind of monkey.

Also, it turns out that whales are artiodactyls! Birds are reptiles! Turkeys are from North America! Common names for animals were not assigned systematically! It's a disaster!