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RE: Afrotheria revisted

It is worth noting that Tabuce et al. don't include Afrosoricida in
their analysis. While it seems to be possible to unite the other
afrotherian orders morphologically, Afrosoricida is the one that refuses
to sit down. Of course, morphological studies involving both Afrotheria
and fossils are still few and far between, and heavily biased towards
paenungulates and/or "condylarths". What fossil insectivore-like taxa
would be worth investigating as basal afrotherians?


        Christopher Taylor

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf
Of T. Michael Keesey
Sent: Saturday, 17 March 2007 3:03 AM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Afrotheria revisted

> "Their long period of isolation in Africa, as assumed by molecular
inferences, is
> now to be reconsidered in as much as Eocene paenungulates and
> are here found to be related to some Early Tertiary Euramerican
> condylarths" (archaic hoofed mammals).
> As a result, stem members of afrotherian clades are not strictly
African but also include
> some
> Early Paleogene Holarctic mammals."
> How can this be explained. Isn't there a contradiction here with the
previously mentioned
> findings about common ancestry of the Afrotheria? I mean, does this
last part not imply
> polyphyly?

AFAICT, all they're saying is that the biogeographic situation is more
complex than previously thought, right? I don't see why this shouldn't
be so ... even today there are non-African sirenians and
proboscideans, and until fairly recently there were a good deal more.

Mike Keesey

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