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Re: Triassic mammal-like reptiles?
On Tue, 08 Nov 2005 11:18:25 -0800 "T. Michael Keesey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> On 11/8/05, John Hunt <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Lets face it, it is a lot more comprehensible to the layman than
> the more
> > correct names used by professionals.
> But it's *incorrect*. "Mammal relative" is just as comprehensible
> not moreso), more concise, and, to top it off, correct. (And, as
> Holtz mentioned, Bakker's "protomammal" is not half-bad, either.)
Very loosely, "protomammal" implies anagenesis, which most certainly
didn't occur in the earliest synapsids. They were a bushy tree of
critters, most of which ended up as dead-end lineages. The use of the
word "protomammal" only perpetuates the mistaken lay belief that any
randomly chosen "protomammal" can be considered a direct ancestor of
mammals. Dimetrodon isn't a "protomammal" any more than a platypus is a
Referring to Dimetrodon as a "mammal relative" is accurate and it is
correct. But even dinosaurs are "mammal relatives", so perhaps the term
should be amended to "mammals' closest relatives".