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Sarcosuchus paper



Thought I ought to mention that the _Sarcosuchus_ paper is finally out:
Sereno, P.C., H.C.E. Larsson, C.A. Sidor, B. Gado. 2001. The giant
crocodyliform _Sarcosuchus_ from the Cretaceous of Africa. Science 294:
1516-1519

On the letters page, Dale Rice (of the National Marine Mammal Lab at
Seattle) points out some interesting taxonomy from E. Haeckel.  In his 1866
Generelle Morphologie der Organismen he prosposed that Order Cetacea
(including Sirenia) and Order Artiodactyla were closest relatives in the
Legion Pycnoderma.  Furthermore, his phylogeny shows that "Artiodactyla" in
this context is paraphyletic, with his "family" Obesa (Hippopotamidae in
typical taxonomies) shown as the sister group to Cetacea, and a
pig-anthracothere clade as the sister group to the whippos.

(Some background: Haeckel (coiner of many terms, such as "phylogeny" and
"ecology") created a bewildering array of taxonomic names for his various
classifications of living and extinct biota in different publications,
including the various editions of Systemische Phylogenie.  Not only did he
introduce Arctopoda (predating the name "Prosauropoda" for basically the
same group) and Dracones (for what we now call "Ornithodira"), he also
invented the name _Pithecanthropus_ prior to the discovery of Java man).

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796