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Re: Hippo-whale paper

On 27/1/05 9:09 am, "Nick Pharris" <npharris@umich.edu> wrote:

> But what is this "Cetartiodactyla" crap?  If whales are most closely related
> to
> hippos, then whales are artiodactyls, full stop.  No Cetartiodactyla
> necessary.

    Gee, you're just not thinking typologically enough ;-). There seems to
be a pretty 'standard' list of living mammalian orders out there (though it
beats me who originally proposed it), with a pretty well defined sense of
what belongs in each order. If you're combining two into one, then
_obviously_ you need a new name.
    As the e-mail is still not an easy place to make intended irony apparent
(unless that was merely sarcasm), I should hasten to add that, from a
phylogenetic nomenclatural viewpoint, you're exactly right. If anything,
though, the name 'Artiodactyla' seems to be disappearing from the scientific
literature, and the new, all-conquering 'Cetartiodactyla' is eclipsing it.
As Thom Yorke reminded us, 'Pragmatism, not idealism'.


        Christopher Taylor