Mammalia; Stegocephalia; Amniota

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 13 12:16:54 CST 2000

     Yes, I definitely hope everyone goes to the "Arizona" Tree of Life
project, and sees what a confusing mess one sees for the Amniota.  And while
there see how Amniota fits into their treatment of Tetrapoda (or should I
say "Stegocephalia").  It's an even worse mess, and I've been studying such
phylogenies for years.  Pity the unfortunate typical student (college or
high school) who wonders what this all means.
     Most paleontologists are already becoming aware the
futility of such an approach.  It is the neontologist
strict cladists who will be the last hold-outs for this
kind of cluttered nonsense.  When cladistic information is presented in such
a manner, it becomes increasingly incomprehensible, and the sad thing is
that cladistic classification will probably also turn students off of
cladistic analysis (which really is useful).
                      --------Ken Kinman
Thomas DiBenedetto wrote:
>There is a widespread, although hardly ubiquitous use of
the name Reptilia which references a monophyletic group
(with birds, without mammals). See any
>modern (i.e cladistic :) ) classification, or the Tree of
Life, for that matter.
>The clade that includes reptiles and mammals is Amniota.
Among extant terrestrial vertebrates, Mammalia is the
sister group of Reptilia. As a neontologist, I tend to
think of trees of extant organisms. I guess I should
>have said Sauropsida the siter to Synapsida. Sorry fo the
>Tom DiBenedetto
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