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Re: Hippo-whale paper




One key feature of this paper: Boisserie et al. (2005) explicitly reject a close relationship between ruminants, hippos and whales. A close relationship between ruminants and whales+hippos is the hallmark of several molecular-based phylogenies. Instead, in this morphological study, the hippopotamids and nested within the anthracotheres, which are regarded as the sister group to the Cetacea (represented as Archaeoceti). This whale+anthracothere/hippo clade is given as the sister group to the pig+peccary clade; the ruminants are excluded.


Nick Pharris wrote:

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

You'd think. After all, we didn't get Phocicarnivora when the Pinnipedia (seals and friends) were put back into the Carnivora. But as Chris said, the Cetartiodactyla is typological thinking at work. Just be thankful that Boisserie et al. (2005) did not once mention the awful "Whippomorpha" for the whale-hippo clade.



Christopher Taylor wrote:

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.

Same for insects and amphibians - but not for birds or fish. The 'standard list' of living mammalian orders is also showing some fatigue, especially where the marsupials are concerned.