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Re: origin of bats/reply to D. Marjanovic



On Sun, Jun 22, 2008 at 5:26 AM, David Peters <davidpeters@att.net> wrote:
>
>
> Yes, Nandinia is not your ordinary civet. But that's...o-k.
> If it's a sister, as you say, then it's closer to civets than horned toads
> are to toads, etc. etc.

It's not sister to civets; it's sister to all other feliforms
combined: hyenas, aardwolves, Malagasy carnivorans, cats, mongooses,
true civets, Asiatic palm civets, genets, binturongs, African
linsangs, Asiatic linsangs, etc.

Overview cladogram here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivora#Phylogenetic_Tree
References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivora#References

> Morganucodon, Megazostrodon, Eomaia, Kennalestes, Asioryctes, Myrmecoboides,
> Lepticis, Anagale, Notharctus, Tupaia, Ignacius, Plesiadapis, Gomphos,
> Vulpavus, Oodesctes, Miacis, Mustela, Martes, Vivvera, Nandinia, Protictis,
> Ptilocercus, Cynocephalus, Palaechthon, Pteropus, Icarnonycteris, Myotis,
> Rhinopomus, Nyctalus, Onychonycteris.  (please forgive any typos).

You haven't included any feliforms besides _Viverra_ and _Nandinia_,
then. Each belongs to a different sub-branch of _Feliformia_, so what
you are calling "civets" is actually _Feliformia_. See what happens if
you add any feloids, herpestoids, nimravids, percrocutids, and/or
stenoplesictids.

It's still odd that the mustelines wouldn't group with them, but that
could be because you only have four carnivorans, two of which
(_Mustela_ and _Martes_) are deeply nested and closely related. Decent
coverage of the stem group, though, although maybe a creodont wouldn't
hurt. Also, since molecular evidence strongly suggests a
chiropteran-perissodactyl-carnivoran-_Manis_ clade, it might be a good
idea to add a stem-perissodactyl or stem-pangolin.

I don't think it would be too shocking if some neglected fossil
usually considered a stem-carnivoran turned out to be a
stem-chiropteran instead. But to get chiropterans as actual
carnivorans (crown group) you'd have to overturn an awful lot of
evidence. Molecular divergence dates and the fossil record as a whole
indicate that _Carnivora_ originated around the time when the earliest
known (and recognized) stem-chiropterans appeared--and those are
already quite derived.
-- 
T. Michael Keesey
Director of Technology
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