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Re: PROBLEM WITH AMPHIBIAN GILLS



> > It is artistic convention to reconstruct certain Palaeozoic - early
> > Mesozoic amphibians with bushy or branched external gills, like
those
> > seen in extant neotenous caudates and most lisamphibian larvae. Is
> > this idea based on nothing more than the idea that, because extant
> > aquatic lisamphibians sometimes have external bushy gills, ancient
> > fossil ones did too? Or is there some proper evidence? I am aware
> > that branchiosaurs and various other fossil larval amphibians really
> > do have bushy external gills (they can often be seen in
> > well-preserved individuals), but what about all these pictures of
> > bushy-gilled plagiosaurs, _Ophiderpeton_ and so on?
> 
> I totally agree, there is not reason, nor is there any REASON to have
> thier skin smooth like modern amphibians. They had scales.
> > 

Could you please supply a reference?  It's not that I doubt you, but I
really want to read more on this!  :)


> > If there is no good evidence for bushy external gills in these
fossil
> > taxa, I am wondering if they should be removed. Extant
> > _Megalobatrachus_, which is virtually entirely aquatic and can reach
> > 1.5 m and more, has no external gills thus big aquatic lisamphibians
> > do not need them.
> 
> I think it's the 'term' amphibian that throws people off.  They should
> be called amnoites (as Rober Carroll once corrected me), and only the
> lisamphibians should be called amphibians. 
> 
> Tracy
> 

"Cladistic correctness" seems to be approaching the absurdity of
"political correctness."  Except in a technical paper, I think the
word amphibian is fine because pretty much everyone knows what is
meant.  In contrast, creating new words daily is what throws people off.

Joshua Dyal
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