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Re: Bat wing digits (was Re: Tiktaalik)
A quick trip to the Field Museum's collections of skins and bones confirmed
Another overlooked gem waiting to be discovered.
"Jaime A. Headden" wrote:
> David Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
> <Everyone looking for transitional forms in bats has been staring too long at
> the wings and not looking at all at the rest of the bat. Same thing happened
> pterosaurs awhile back and some guy without a PhD figured out the phylogeny
> based on the feet.>
> Dave, the problem with the data on the foot-based phylogeny is that none of
> it is published -- and by published, not in _Prehistoric Times_. This would
> need to be critically reviewed, and not based on digital line drawings until
> THAT method can be proven.
> On the main thesis, most people who have studied bat phylogeny tend to look
> at the skull and the teeth (when using morphology). For these researchers,
> know to look only at the wings would be futile, as no other mammal has even
> arms LIKE them,
> and the high distinction of the limbs obscures all nascent,
> primitive features from being trustworthy). Instead, they have identified
> rather basal eutherian models in the skull, insectivoran [read: eulipotyphlan]
> teeth shape (possibly convergent based on an insect-based diet).
That's a stretch.
> molecular phylogenies place bats closer to artiodactyls,
That's a stretch.
That's a possibility.
> and other
> northern-continent related groups, including pangolins.
That's another stretch.
> So the wings are not
> distracting to these people, as nor should they be to anyone else.
They seem to be happy just to hit the dart board, rather than the bull's eye.
> Sears' work
> is primarily evo-devo, not phylogenetic, with the intention of figuring out
> it happened, not when and where.
Well, I'm not surprised to see that a gene was responsible for long fingers in
bats. It would be more interesting, IMHO, to see the evolutionary inbetweeners
that really show how it happened.
> Jaime A. Headden
> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
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