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RE: Monotremes



-------- Original-Nachricht --------
Datum: Wed, 09 May 2007 14:50:14 +0000
Von: Anthony Docimo <keenir@hotmail.com>

> > > if you say "monotreme"/"monotrema", I know you're talking about a
> > > mammal that lays eggs rather than having live birth.

But not the other way around. The monotremes have _retained_ the condition of 
laying eggs. We can be fairly sure that lots of Mesozoic mammals (especially 
mammals in the wider senses) also laid eggs, "even though" they were not 
monotremes.

Monotremes are not diagnosed by laying eggs, but by tooth characters. Animalia 
or something is diagnosed by laying eggs.

Besides, you're lucky: unlike in Spec, no real-world monotremes have evolved 
live birth. :-) Evolution makes it impossible to use the mere presence of a 
character state for the definition of a taxon name.

> Is it "parochial" because its human?

No, it's parochial because all egg-laying mammals that aren't monotremes happen 
to have died out. Overlooking the important point that there were other 
egg-laying mammals is parochial.

> I'll just say that if they're not monotremes, fine, then we don't call
> them monotremes...

Bingo. Monotremes are monotremes -- other egg-laying mammals were not 
monotremes.
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