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re: origin of bats
thank you Tim, for the reference:
TW wrote: Yes, exactly. The paper that David (Marjanovic) is referring to - and
which David (Peters) really needs to read - is...
Nancy B. Simmons, Kevin L. Seymour, Jörg Habersetzer, & Gregg F. Gunnell
(2007). Primitive Early Eocene bat from Wyoming and the evolution of flight and
echolocation. Nature 451: 818-821
Placing this bat, Onychonycteris, into an established cladogram shifts no taxa.
Yes, indeed it is the most primitive bat in the cladogram. The civets
Protictis, Nandinia and Ptilocercus remain non-volent outgroup taxa.
With regard to non-volant locomotory abilities: Onychonycteris hyper-folds its
hands at the wrist/metacarpal joints, like all bats do. Evidently it was not
using its hands like most quadrupedal tetrapods do. And the bipedal hypothesis
still stands. Claws and all.
Body parts don't disappear immediately after cessation of use. But they do
disappear eventually. Case in point: Fruit bat (flying fox) manual digit II
ungual. Analogy: hind limbs on primitive whales.