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Re: emu history



--- Nancy Cavanaugh <nancy@lillypadsoftware.com> wrote:
> Hmmm... that's interesting. Nothing I've read to date (and I've only been 
> researching this for a couple of months, and 98% of that research has been
> done  online as books about emus, at least in the public sector, in the US
> are rare to non-existent) said anything about the emu being from a common
> ancestor with the cassowaries.

Well, technically, any life form is descended from a common ancestor with any
other life form ... but ... yes, cassowaries (_Casuarius_) and emus
(_Dromaius_) are each others' closest living relatives.

That's odd; emus and cassowaries are pretty much always grouped in the same
taxon (_Casuariiformes_) to the exclusion of other ratites. You haven't seen
that?

> Who was the common ancestor?

Direct ancestry is unprovable without an unbroken line of ancestors, which, of
course, you'll never find in the fossil record. Best answer is "the first
casuariiform".
My uninformed guess is that it would look a lot like an emu or a crestless
cassowary.


Hope you feel better!

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=====> T. Michael Keesey <http://dino.lm.com/contact>
=====> The Dinosauricon <http://dinosauricon.com>
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