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RE: Platypuses may be older than we think...
David Marjanovic wrote:
> Fine, but the platypus digs burrows, too, so it's not that far away.
The platypus excavates burrows in the riverbank. A distinction without a
difference, I guess, given that your point was that platypodans dig too.
>> _Obdurodon_ (for which a beautiful skull is known) is certainly a bona
>> fide platypus.
> Agreed, but it's only Miocene.
The fossil tachyglossid _Megalibgwilia_ goes back to the Miocene.
> Then maybe the echidnas are ornithorhynchids and closely allied with
> *Obdurodon*, too.
That seems like a counsel of despair. Given how specialized the two lines were
by the Miocene, the tachyglossans and platypodans must have diverged a long
> With the presently known fossils, we won't find out. We
> still don't know any tachyglossan teeth, and we still don't know anything
> but teeth from *Monotrematum*.
Yes, but the teeth of _Monotrematum_ show a striking resemblance to the teeth
of the ornithorhynchid _Obdurodon_. It could be that _Monotrematum_ was a
non-platypodan with ornithorhynchid-like teeth. But the most parsimonious
explanation is that _Monotrematum_ is an ornithorhynchid.
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