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RE: Monotremes

Anthony Docimo writes:
 > > > >> >Dinosauria has been everything from a suborder (original 
 > > > >> >designation)
 > > > >> >to a class. But why would the mere fact that his sort of thing goes 
 > > > >> >on
 > > > >> >a lot excuse it?
 > > > >>
 > > > >>   Why would the mere fact that it goes on, condemn it?
 > > > >
 > > > >It doesn't. What condemns it is that it's meaningless.
 > > >
 > > > if you say "monotreme"/"monotrema", I know you're talking about a mammal
 > > > that lays eggs rather than having live birth.
 > >
 > >But only from the parochial view of the Neogene.
 > Whereas if we use the view from the Cambrian or the
 > Cambiferous(sp), there's no such problem.  ;)

What?  No!  The view from _any_ absurdly short slice of geological
time will be parochial.

I honestly don't know any more whether you're honestly asking
questions because you want to know the answers, or whether you're just

 > Is it "parochial" because its human?


 > >We honestly don't know which of the many diverse Mesozoic and Paleogene 
 > >extinct
 > >lineages of mammals (allotheres, eutriconodonts, docodonts, etc., etc.) 
 > >were egg-laying mammals but not monotremes (i.e., not part
 > >of Monotremata).
 > Tempting as it would be to therefore ask "then what good is a
 > cladogram when the relationships are uncertain", I won't.

But I will answer the question anyway.  The good of a cladogram is
that it illustrates a phylogenetic hypothesis.  If we never said
anything in science until we were certain that we right, then
... well, the publication queues would be a lot shorter.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "The President has kept all of the promises he intended to keep"
         -- Clinton aide George Stephanopolous.