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"Neomammals" (arising out of Neoaves discussion)
David Marjanovic wrote:
"We'll probably have a complete *Toxodon* mitochondrial
genome before we'll have the first serious-sized
morphological placental analysis in history."
Is this just general speculation, or is there a project afoot to
sequence Toxodon material (some of which is comparable in date to the
Neandertal stuff Svante Paabo gets in the news for doing).
I certainly hope such a project is carried out. Since the split
between the Placental superorders seems to have taken place before
there was much morphological differentiation, it seems to be
difficult to place primitive types: witness the suggestion that
Phenacodont "condylarths" are Afrotheres despite their historic
association with Perissodactyls, which are about as core
Laurasiathere as you can get! ... Given the resemblance of some
early South American "ungulates" to North American "condylarths," I
would ***bet*** that the South American endemic "ungulate" radiation
was Laurasiatherian if I was forced to, but it would be REALLY nice
to get some molecular data.
While we are at it-- since "Lipotyphla" seems to be polyphyletic,
some Afrotheres and some Laurasiatheres-- has anyone done molecular
studies on Solenodon? Or on the remains of Nesophontids?
(Sorry-- I'm a mammal enthusiast. Dinosaur connection is thast the
question arose out of discussion of a paper on the phylogeny of