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Not exactly dinosaurs...



This is a message for anyone out there interested in mammalian higher 
taxonomy.  If this does not include you, please ignore.  I just had a few 
questions:

1) Does anyone out there know anything about the biomolecular studies 
done back in '90 or '91 that concluded that guinea pigs are not rodents 
but only distantly related to most other modern mammals?  Has any more 
work been done in this regard?  Which of the other "caviomorphs," if any, 
are rodents, and which are true guinea pig relatives?  What are guinea 
pigs?  Personally, I think it would be cool if the guinea 
pig-mara-agouti-cabybara-chinchilla-etc. line turned out to be a line of 
notoungulates (many are adapted for running, and most or all have a 
reduced digit count of 4 in front and 3 in back), but that is probably 
just wishful thinking.

2)  What was the ref for the study that linked rabbits with primates?

3)  How robust is the Archonta?  (primates, dermopters, bats, tupates, 
insectivores)

4)  Have any biomolecular studies been done on elephant shrews?  One book 
I have compares them variously with lagomorphs and scandentians.  Is 
there any possibility that primates, dermopterans, bats, lagomorphs, tree 
shrews, and elephant shrews, and maybe rodents, form a natural group?

5)  Has anyone considered putting sciuromorphs, myomorphs, and 
caviomorphs in separate orders?

6)  Can anyone provide me with a decent higher-level family tree, 
reflecting the current thinking on mammalian supraordinal classification?

Thank you for your time.  Please e-mail me directly to avoid cluttering 
the list with off-topic stuff.

Thanks again,

Nick


Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447
(206)535-8206
PharriNJ@PLU.edu