[Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors

Robin Leech releech at telus.net
Wed Jan 13 23:15:54 CST 2010


When I put my original story in, it was meant to be
humorous and informative, informative of how even
a teacher sees things, and how she will indoctrinate
her students.  Nothing more.
Robin

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stephen Thorpe" <s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz>
To: "Kenneth Kinman" <kennethkinman at webtv.net>; <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 9:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors


> Well, it is all just semantics. In one sense, snakes are (a clade of) 
> legless lizards, but in another sense it is wrong to call a snake a 
> lizard, or a bird a dinosaur. I agree that the latter sense is probably to 
> be preferred, mainly so that we can call things by stable names 
> independently of changing phylogenetic hypotheses. But, all I meant was 
> that the person who "lumps apes with monkeys" has got a point - there is a 
> sense in which they are correct, even if they are not using the terms in 
> the preferred sense.
>
> The Collembola/Hexapoda issue is not just semantics, of course, but the 
> available evidence seems unable to definitively decide the issue, at least 
> for now - so often the way!
>
> An interesting question (touched on before) is what are animals? Are 
> animals monophyletic? There is a tricky semantic issue here, involving 
> what to say now that the Protozoa have been thrown out of the old 
> Animalia. Did we discover that: (1) Protozoa aren't animals after all; or 
> (2) Protozoa are animals, but animals are a polyphyletic grouping of 
> Protozoa and Metazoa. I prefer (2), but they are very reluctant at 
> Wikispecies, for example, to deny that lions and insects and things belong 
> to a clade properly called Animalia, so they prefer (1)...
>
> ________________________________________
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
> [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Kenneth Kinman 
> [kennethkinman at webtv.net]
> Sent: Thursday, 14 January 2010 5:03 p.m.
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] Our Monkey Ancestors
>
> 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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