The definition of the Tetrapoda needs to expand

Due to taxon inclusion,
the large reptile tree (LRT 1579 taxa, subset Fig. 1) has modified earlier phylogenies that came with their own, now apparently outmoded definitions due to taxon exclusion. For example, the definition of the clade Tetrapoda does not include many taxa with four limbs and feet with toes. That doesn’t make sense and needs to change. Where it says: ‘Fingers and Toes’ (Fig. 1) is where Tetrapoda should start, or thereabouts.

Figure 1. Subset of the LRT alongside the definitions published in Laurin, Girondot and de Ricqles 2000.

Figure 1. Subset of the LRT alongside the definitions published in Laurin, Girondot and de Ricqles 2000.

Scientific definitions come and go.
We’ve said ‘goodbye’ to Cetacea, Pinnipedia, Pterodactyloidea, Ornithodira, Parareptilia and Chelonia. Let’s keep the clade Tetrapoda, but expand it to include taxa with fingers and toes like Dvinosaurus and all of its descendants, currently considered temnospondyls and stegocephalians.


References
Laurin M, Girondot M and de Ricqles A 2000. Early tetrapod evolution. TREE 15(3):118–123.

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