[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: ptero and bat origins

Nick Pharris <npharris@umich.edu> wrote;

Yuck. For God's sake, let's get some clade names that make sense without requiring knowledge of the entire history of mammalian

Alas, that ain't going to happen.

Just call them Lipotyphla, or even Insectivora.

I'm not saddened by the demise of Insectivora, since it was essentially a catch-all for "primitive" eutherians (and some non-eutherians), both fossil and living - particularly those that lacked derived characters that could link them to extant orders.

Thecodontia was used in the same way for Archosauria - if the archosaur was primitive and/or it clearly doesn't belong with the crocodiles, dinosaurs or pterosaurs, then it's a "thecodont". In modern usage, the term "thecodont" is still used by opponents of a dinosaurian origin of birds in order to disguise the fact that they don't have a clue what gave rise to birds.

Cetartiodactyla?  Totally unnecessary.  Cetacea is a subclade of
Artiodactyla (or Paraxonia)--it's not even clear that artiodactyls as
traditionally conceived share a special relationship exclusive of whales.

Recent discoveries (esp. from southern Asia) have reinforced the Cetacea-Artiodactyla link.

> That the name Scrotifera exists suggests that some synapomorphy
> exists that fits in the molecular tree, but I don't know it.

I'm developing an intense dislike for the practice of inventing anatomy-based names for molecular-based trees.


MSN 8 helps eliminate e-mail viruses. Get 2 months FREE*. http://join.msn.com/?page=features/virus