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Re: "Cetiformes" and Dinosauriformes
Well, I did say that cetaceans are probably holophyletic. But I am
obviously somewhat skeptical about a number of different "holophyletic"
groups--- slightly skeptical about cetaceans and dinosaurs, but more so
about some others.
When I told people I was going to take scorpions out of Class
Arachnidea, some people thought my new Class Scorpionea was a little wacky.
But several years later fossil evidence showed that scorpions and
eurypterids do share a key synapomorphy to the exclusion of other arachnids
(my Class Arachnidea).
And if Romer, Simpson, and others were still living, they might well
continue their in their belief that dinosaurs are polyphyletic, even given
all the modern evidence we now have. In fact they might even criticize me
for coding Ornithischiformes and Saurischiformes as sister groups---who
Maybe I should have been born in Missouri (the "Show Me" State),
instead of Kansas. But I really didn't become such a cynic and skeptic
until I was a Junior in college. But those who know me well realize that
there is usually some "method in my madness".
If some of my ideas provoke some laughter that is okay too (we could
use a little of that these days). But people laughed when Conway-Morris
presented his reconstruction of Opabinia. It is a strange looking animal,
but I still think it is probably either a dwarf male or immature form of
Anomalocaris. Regarded as one of my wackier ideas, but I still find it
amazing that people reject it without any particular reason other than it
But then again, you won't hear me claiming that Longisquama has
feathers, or that dinosaurs evolved the astragalar ascending process five
separate times (Feduccia, 1996). I really do try to be fair and open-minded
in spite of my skepticism, and only time will tell if some of my wackier
ideas have any merit. But if by chance mysticetes and odontocetes did have
different ungulate ancestors, I will have the last laugh. Stranger things
From: "Mickey Mortimer" <Mickey_Mortimer11@msn.com>
Subject: Re: "Cetiformes" and Dinosauriformes
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2001 18:24:36 -0700
Ken Kinman wrote-
> Even though I am more of a lumper than a splitter (in general), in
> case, I felt that there was a definite possibility that whales could be
> polyphyletic (diphyletic).
That comment introduced some much needed laughter into my day Ken.
Polyphyletic cetaceans?! No wonder you question the monophyly of
segnosaurs, troodontids, etc.. If you aren't nearly certain Cetacea is
monophyletic, there's no hope. I can virtually assure you all
mammalogists/phylogeneticists think Cetacea is monophyletic.
Polyphyletic cetaceans..... :-D
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