Taxa surviving end-Cretaceous extinction

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Nov 15 17:41:00 CST 2004

     Well, maybe it could be characterized as a bit of a cheap shot, but probably a well deserved one.  Especially since she refers to this cladistic association (in the very next sentence) as follows:  "This close association also allows the inference of modern Meliponini survival requirements onto its fossil cousin."   Such an inference may be allowable, but that certainly doesn't make it correct.  Should cladistic association allow the inference of modern bird survival requirements onto their fossil cousins?  I don't think so.

     And the next sentence is totally false: "The energy source for all modern Hymenoptera is pollen."  Frankly, I was cringing all the way through her abstract.  I'm sure her work on fossil mammals and dinosaurs is just fine, but this diversion into bees was a big mistake in my opinion.  The uncritical press attention it received irks me all the more.  The kind of scientific "hype" that is often covered, but the rebuttals usually aren't.
       ------ Ken Kinman
P.S.  By the way, if you want an example of a real cheap shot, I would offer your own statement posted on this newsgroup on Fri, 16 Aug 2002 (at 13:34:28 -0700):

    "Nothing against the exercise of the imagination, but this is a little like saying, if humans can evolve (near) hairlessness, why couldn't they evolve into tunicates as well?" Barry

Ken Kinman wrote:..., if a typical bivalve can evolve into something like a shipworm, then bivalves could also evolve into worms which have lost the shells altogether (especially sipunculids, but perhaps other spiralian worms as well).  Could nemertines or some flatworms actually be very-derived bivalve "slugs"?  If snails can do it, why not bivalves?

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