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Re: Not dinos, but interesting, in an evolutionary sense



I will make this brief as I know it is not a dinosaur-related thread. 
I was only able to see the abstract of "The developing renal,
reproductive, and respiratory systems of the African elephant suggest
an aquatic ancestry."  While internal testicles and nephrostomes are
interesting features of elephants, how the well-developed pillar-like
limbs and other terrestrial features would have developed from aquatic
mammals like the dugong, or how a complex probocis would develop,
isn't clear.  I do not know all the details on elephant evolution, but
I seem to remember hyraxes being their closest living relatives, and
those animals have a small probocis-like nose and a permanently
pronated hand due permanent cross-over of the radius and ulna, like in
the elephant.

Furthermore, the statement to the press about features developing
earlier being more primitive is the old onotgeny recapitulates
phylogeny argument which many researchers have shied away from.  Did
she say this to make things simple for the press?

Oh, well ... my $0.02.  End of mammal discussion.  If you have
anything to say to me, please say it off list.  Back to dinos ...

Matt Bonnan