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Oh no! Not Monotremes again!

I just found an interesting description of monotremes while browsing (of all
places) Encyclopaedia Britannica (1989). I wouldn't consider this the best
reference on VP, but it can prove useful.

It lists the three surviving species of Monotreme, the duckbilled platypus,
Ornithhorhynchus anatinus, and two spiny ant-eaters, Tachyglosus aculeatus,
and Zaglosus bruijni.

The interesting bit, however, is this:

"Although they resemble reptiles in that they lay eggs, the monotremes are
true mammals. They possess such distinctively mammalian characteristics such
as mammary glands, hair, a large brain, and a complete diaphragm."


"Most authorities beleive that the order Monotrema originated from a line of
mammal-like reptiles different from that which gave rise to the other mammals."

No cladistics here!

Perhaps you could get away with this sort of thing with linnian taxonomy
(though I suspect it would be frowned upon), but with cladistics, if
monotremes are mammals, Monotremata and Theria must have a common mammalian

James Shields  -  jshields@iol.ie  -  http://www.iol.ie/~jshields
And when the ark was finished Noah said unto Elvis, "What do you reckin?"
And Elvis checked out his own cabin and shook his head saying "poky".
And so did they knock several walls through and install a jaccuzzi.
And when it was all done Noah scratched his beard and said, "We don't have
room for all the animals now."
And Elvis perused the livestock list and in his wisdom said, "Lose the
        -Robert Rankin, The Suburban Book of the Dead