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Re: linguistic analogy

On Sun, 11 Feb 1996, Rob Meyerson wrote:

> One possible problem with this, is the breastbone seen in all bird species, 
> but
> not seen in any dinosaur (including Archy).  It is possible that this feature
> succeeds in marking birds as "different enough" to place in their own 
> category?

Many features make birds "different enough" for their own category, 
Aves.  But that category, Aves, is still part of Dinosauria (and 
Theropoda, Maniraptora, etc.).

> >BTW, do you seriously believe that whales are not as different from other 
> >ungulates as birds are from other maniraptorans?
> I thought that whales evolved from wolf-like carnivores?  How do ungulates fit
> in this?

We're both right.  Whales evolved from early wolf-like, carnivorous 
ungulates, the Mesonychidae.

> Assuming that whales did evolve from ungulates, I suggest that since there has
> been no evolution of new features, just modification and reduction of 
> previously
> existing ones, then whales and ungulates to belong together.

I have two responses to this:

1)  Whales have evolved a whole host of new features.  Echolocation, for 
one (secondarily lost in baleen whales), and flukes, and dorsal fins, and 
many modifications to the lungs.

2)  All of the "new features" of birds are just modifications of those 
found in other maniraptorans.  Several dinosaurs have been found with good 
sterna, BTW.

> Rob

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." -- Harry S Truman