When transitional fossils blur previously clear boundaries between major groups, drawing that line can be problematic. While the need to rigorously define formal taxon names is widely acknowledged (e.g., de Queiroz and Gauthier 1992; Cantino et al. 1997), the need for similar precision in the scientific use of vernacular terms is not widely appreciated. The lack of accepted usages for common names has engendered endless arguments about when a fish becomes (also?) a tetrapod (e.g., Clack 1997), when a dinosaur becomes (also?) a bird (e.g., Padian and Chiappe 1998), and when a mammal-like reptile becomes (also?)...

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