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Re: linguistic analogy



>As I have mentioned before, if an organism or group is significantly 
>different from its ancestors and closest relatives, it *should* receive 
>its own taxon to demonstrate.  That doesn't mean, however, that it stops 
>belonging to all the groups its ancestors belonged to.

Agreed.  It is my (excedingly basic) understanding of taxonomy, that it
basically defines the geologic history of the group.  So your statement will
be correct regardless.

(snip)
>This is a lot easier to see with respect to dinosaurs and birds if one 
>stops conceiving of dinosaurs as a group as opposed to the birds and 
>begins seeing the dinosaurs as a collection of species, some of which are 
>sauropods, some of which are ceratopians...and some of which are birds.  
>Birds merely represent a small part of the evolutionary diversity of the 
>Dinosauria.

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?

>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?

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.

Rob

***
The man who has everything ... should be quarantined!