[Taxacom] Primates (was: burn out)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Thu Apr 23 09:40:00 CDT 2009

Hi Michael, 
        I agree that Strepsirhini and Haplorhini are
best regarded as sister clades (making up the larger clade Euprimates),
and I coded them as such. It's within Suborder Proprimates that the main
controversies arise. 
          Since my 2004 classification, I see that
Bloch and Silcox (2006) published a detailed paper on Carpolestidae.
This study seems to indicate that the sister group of Euprimates is
probably a Carpolestidae-Plesiadapidae clade (not Carpolestidae alone).
Therefore, I would change the coding from: 

      8  Plesiadapidae
      9  Carpolestidae 
     10  {{Euprimates}}  


     8  Plesiadapidae
     B  Carpolestidae
     9  {{Euprimates}} 

        The Picrodontidae might be involved as well, so
I will probably put it just after Microsyopidae (instead of just before
it). In such a controversial phylogeny, such changes are to be expected.
However, the family list is still the same, and I just have to change
the coding a bit. Suborder Proprimates is clearly paraphyletic, but
exactly where the Euprimates split off will remain controversial. 


P.S. Yes, John, I know you don't like a paraphyletic Pongidae (as do
strict cladists in general). However, at least it contains the same
living taxa that it has for many, many decades. All you have to do to
make it cladistically useful as well is to add in that {{Hominidae}}
exgroup marker (plus the sister group coding). That makes it both useful
AND stable. You can change the coding to show {{Hominidae}} as sister
group to the orangutan clade is you want. Happily my classification
allows you to do that without destabilizing it.  Family Pongidae% is
clearly paraphyletic in both morphology and molecules, but it is simply
all great apes that lack the synapomorphies of Hominidae.  Having strict
cladists overlumping and/or splitting it up in "umpteen" different ways
demonstrates just how destabilizing paraphylophobia can be.  I still
suspect that gorillas and chimps might end up clading together, but we
will just have to wait and see (for now I am still showing gorillas in a
clade splitting off just before chimps, which is still the most widely
held view).

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