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RE: Monotremes




> > > 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. ;)


But given that the majority of mammalian history precedes the Neogene, there is an issue there. I'm not saying "don't call 'em
monotremes." I'm saying "don't think that it is being egg-laying mammals that makes 'em monotremes."

if I go to a zoo, and the sign says "monotreme", and the critter in question is giving birth to live young...


in the present day, its sufficient to say "an egg-laying mammal"....for the distant past, yes, one needs more qualifiers.

> (after all, we don't want people thinking that science - specifically
> classification - is something only relevant to long-bearded men in ivory
> towers)

Hey, I'm clean shaven and Centreville Hall is made of brick, steel, and concrete! :-)






> >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. I'll just say that if they're
> not monotremes, fine, then we don't call them monotremes....we don't throw
> the baby out with the bathwater just because the baby wet the water.


You seem to be misunderstanding my point.

apologies.

I--and to my knowledge, NO ONE--is advocating abandoning the name "Monotremata". I am just
pointing out that your description of monotremes is not accurate: or rather, it is accurate only to a neontologist and not to a
paleontologists.

if I thought PhyloCode would be exclusively for paleontologists, I wouldn't have a problem with it (field-specific jargon, fine, not unprecedented)....but, and here's my fear, that paleontology will be used as a beachhead.


You know, paleontology. The science that we use on this list.

yes. but my concern is that it will throw up a barrier to people who want to *become* paleontologists.


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