Are species real?---tuatara
kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Apr 12 22:48:33 CDT 2006
Actually I did have to search the web after being challenged. :-) However, even if I hadn't found Hay et al.'s paper, I would still have been skeptical. After all, it is surprising enough that a single tuatara has managed to hang in there as a relict species throughout the entire Tertiary, much less that a second tinier relict species would only manage to survive on a single tiny offshore island. The odds against the latter must be pretty substantial (especially given connections to mainland New Zealand as recently as the last dozen thousand years or so).
I guess I'm lucky in this case that the evidence was already available and published. However, with the close relationship of scorpions and sea-scorpions, I had to wait several years (after I published my classification) for definitive evidence to confirm my strong suspicions that a Class Scorpionea was holophyletic (and that scorpions cannot be cladistically embedded within Class Arachnidea). The older I get, the more I trust my instincts, whether the most recent publication agrees with it or not. I just feel compelled to call them as I see them, whether it is popular or not. As for the aardvark, two relict species of them coexisting in sub-Saharan Africa (no islands involved at all that I know of) seems even less likely. If there is any evidence at all of two species of aardvark, I'd be happy to evaluate it (but I'm not holding my breath).
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