Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This XKCD comic has been a hit with the online paleo community, and is was well worth sharing here.

The reason that XKCD is tremendously popular is that it deserves to be. Because it is pure excellence. Peer-ee-odd.


  1. So true!
    I especially loved the associated text, which says:
    "Birds are Aves, which is part of the clade Theropoda, which is in Saurischia, which is in Dinosauria. Those birds outside our windows are dinosaurs. We can clear out the rest of our brains because we now have the best fact."

    I was quite confused, though, when a computer scientist friend of mine said he didn't get it. What's there to get? Then I realized, that the concept of cladistics might not be common knowledge.

  2. As a long time XKCD fan, I've got to say that a computer scientist not getting one of his comics makes me *really* happy.

  3. Just tell them to think of species as nodes in a directed, acyclic graph. That should help.

  4. If they are computer scientists and can't follow an Entity Relationship Diagram, then they need to go back and get recetified.

    Reptiles and birds are child tables for the Theropods, Amphibians have no link to the Theropod table.

    Question: If I am going to make changes to the columns in the Theropod table, do I need to consider the effect on Amphibians?


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