[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Wed Jan 13 22:03:44 CST 2010

I disagree,
       Calling apes "monkeys" is sort of like calling snakes "lizards",
either of which are even worse than "birds ARE dinosaurs" (rather than
birds are dinosaur descendants).  It's all cladistic lumping run amuck,
towards which I am not inclined to be charitable.      
       And spiders + insects is far worse, being a polyphyletic
grouping.  People who study insects should be hanging around more with
those who study crustaceans.  Spiders are a whole different branch of
arthropods, and I don't think it is settled on which branch the
myriapods lie (or even if they comprise a single clade; now that might
be complicated).     
        Fine if entomologists still study myriapods, but lumping
arachnology into entomology is like ornithologists studying Chiroptera
just because they happen to fly.  And I am still convinced that
Collembola (springtails) evolved from a completely different crustacean
group than other hexapods (hexapody evolved at least twice independently
from different crustaceans).  If the crustacean people (instead of
entomologists) studied springtails, we would probably have discovered
their true ancestry years ago.
      ---------Ken Kinman

Stephen wrote:
I just want to point out that it is easy to criticise others with
different views, but in this case if, as you say, monkeys are
paraphyletic w.r.t. apes, then a person who "lumps apes in with monkeys"
has actually got a good point, cladistically speaking! And spiders do
tend to be studied in entomology departments, and often in entomology
journals, so one could be charitable and interpret "insects" in the wide
sense of insects and allies, rather than in the strict sense of Hexapoda
(and what about Parainsecta, are they insects? It gets complicated ...) 

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