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Re: Platypuses may be older than we think...
<<Outside of Yinotheria, *Fruitafossor* is included, but *Volaticotherium*
and the New Zealand mammal are not.>>
Thank God for that, in the latter case. The alledged New Zealand "mammal"
is a toothless jaw and bit of limb bone which, on the given grounds of
parsimony, were referred to but a single unnamed taxon. There's nothing in
particular linking them other than possibly being mammalian (which I doubt
for the jaw), presumably appropriate sizes and coming from the same place.
What wasn't parsimonious was combining the characters of both elements, and
assuming they actually are from the same taxon. Also not exactly
parsimonious was attempting to draw robust phylogenetic conclusions from
comparisons when, for the alleged NZ "mammal", the available characters
amounted to a good impersonation of pi; around 3.17%. The absent
character-majority was the sort of landslide victories Hitlers proposals
received in referenda, which he had counted in advance.
Not that I'm in a position to sensibly offer advice on conducting
phylogenetic analyses, but I'd strongly advise against including that one