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Cretaceous "Insectivora" (was Re: No Subject)




ELurio@aol.com wrote:

BTW, insectavores are monophylitic at least as around the area
around the KT Boundry....

Nothing could be further from the truth. In this context, the Cretaceous "Insectivora" was used as a wastebasket for small, "primitive" placentals. It was part-and-parcel of the notion that the Insectivora represented the basal stock from which other placental orders evolved. Most of these Cretaceous "insectivorans" were not closely related to each other, let alone to modern insectivorans (moles, shres, hedgehogs, tenrecs). Some were probably not even true placentals: _Deltatheridium_, which may be the sister taxon to the Marsupialia, used to be assigned to the Insectivora.


AFAIK, there's no compelling evidence for any modern (extant) order of mammals existing in the Cretaceous period. Of course, it does depend upon how you define said "orders"...

As for the meaning of "Lipotyphla" (does it mean "fat and blind"?), I've wondered what it means too. I do know that for a short time elephant shrews (Macroscelidea) and tree shrews (Scandentia) were united into a group called the Menotyphla.


Tim



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