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Re: "Common ancestor" in cladistics
Quoting Phil Bigelow <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> Depending on how one defines the informal group "fish", your students may
> have a right to balk. If you mean that we had an ancestor that was a
> member of the clade [Pices + Chondrichthes], then I would think not. But
> I've been wrong before.
> Aren't "fish" paraphyletic??
"Pisces", as traditionally used--including chondrichthyans, ray-finned and
lobe-finned fishes, and often lampreys and hagfish for good measure--is
And yes, we are most definitely part of the clade arising from the common
ancestor of chondrichthyans and other "fish".
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan