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Re: Resetting the "molecular clock hypothesis"
"Mastodons are more distant to opossums than other placental mammals are. The
genetic distance between dinosaurs and mastodons is greater than that between
extant birds and mammals."
The mastadon DNA sequence should be fairly complete, while the DNA of non-avian
dinosaurs is scattered or inferred from protein sequences.
When saying the birds are more distant, is it comparing an entire bird genome
against an entire mammal genome, or just the bird and mammal sequences
correspnding to the limited Dino DNA?
However, the mastadon/mammoth case makes this rather irrelevant - it seems we
are talking about convergent evolution on the molecular scale, which I haven't
heard of before, presumably because the amount of possible sequences that would
fulfill the same function is much greater than possible general morphologies
for the same lifestyle.
However, this data, if factual, would say otherwise, and indicate either
convergent molecular evolution, or very rapid sequence changes in a linage not
directly ancestral to extant species