[Taxacom] Another transatlantic rafting primate named this year

Michael Heads m.j.heads at gmail.com
Tue Dec 22 14:29:22 CST 2020


All organisms have dispersed to their present location, and any disjunction
in a clade’s distribution can be explained by a single dispersal event
(‘across a barrier’), which by chance, is never repeated. But the problem
for biogeographers (not specialists on single groups) is explaining the
obvious distribution *patterns* that exist. These involve large numbers of
taxa, all with completely different means of dispersal and ecology.



Take a typical pattern, say Galapagos – Baja California. Component taxa
include terrestrial angiosperms, scorpions, shorefishes, many intertidal
invertebrates etc., etc., all endemic to the same sector.  A molecular
clock study would find that all the component groups have different ages
(because of biases in the fossil record) and so would regard the geographic
pattern as a 'pseudopattern' and ‘pseudocongruence’, i.e., a chance,
non-phenomenon requiring no explanation.



Instead, a biogeographic analysis would continue by investigating the
geology. Recent studies on subducted slabs in the mantle indicate that Baja
California (Alisitos terrane) was much closer to the Galapagos hotspot in
the past than it is now, while the rest of America lay further east
(Clennett et al., 2020. *Geochem., Geophys., Geosystems *21, e2020GC009117)*.
*As the rest of North America was pulled westward it collided with the
Alisitos terrane and carried it further west, away from the Galapagos. Thus
biogeography documents the pattern, and geology provides a simple
explanation for it that does not involve chance and makes numerous testable
predictions.

On Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 1:51 AM Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> Hi All,
>        Yet another primate was named this year (April 2020) which also
> indicates transatlantic rafting, helped along with a drop in sea levels.
> Abstract below.  Source:
> https://science.sciencemag.org/content/368/6487/194
>
> Abstract
>
> Phylogenetic evidence suggests that platyrrhine (or New World) monkeys and
> caviomorph rodents of the Western Hemisphere derive from source groups from
> the Eocene of Afro-Arabia, a landmass that was ~1500 to 2000 kilometers
> east of South America during the late Paleogene. Here, we report evidence
> for a third mammalian lineage of African origin in the Paleogene of South
> America—a newly discovered genus and species of parapithecid anthropoid
> primate from Santa Rosa in Amazonian Perú. Bayesian clock–based
> phylogenetic analysis nests this genus (Ucayalipithecus) deep within the
> otherwise Afro-Arabian clade Parapithecoidea and indicates that
> transatlantic rafting of the lineage leading to Ucayalipithecus likely took
> place between ~35 and ~32 million years ago, a dispersal window that
> includes the major worldwide drop in sea level that occurred near the
> Eocene-Oligocene boundary.
>
> ________________________________
> From: John Grehan <calabar.john at gmail.com>
> Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2020 9:13 PM
> To: Kenneth Kinman <kinman at hotmail.com>
> Cc: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Primate {twadle?}
>
> Ken, none of this comes across as 'serious research findings' - just a
> whole series of fabrications.
>
> Fabrication 1. "South America and Africa have been separated since the
> early Late Cretaceous, so vicariance of primates does not appear reasonable
> as an explanation for their appearance in the Eocene on two continents
> separated by the Atlantic." Twaddle. There is no evidence that they
> 'appeared' in the Eocene. None at all. I dare you to specify any such
> empirical evidence. Of course any alternative is 'unreasonable' by
> definition.
>
> Fabrication 2. "with rafting across the Atlantic usually considered a
> feasible way for how primates arrived in South America, presuming they
> originated in Africa" - make me a raft. Any raft at all. Another fantasy.
>
> Fabrication 3. " similar means of arrival in South America has often been
> proposed for the hystricognath rodents, the dispersal of amphisbaenian and
> gekkotan lizards, and the Opisthocomiforme" Oh yes, everyone says it is so,
> so it must be true. Really true. Saw a lot of this in our recent elections.
>
> Fabrication 4. "... the re-established, relatively contemporaneous first
> appearance datum of primates and rodents in South America leads to
> consideration of possible similarities of intercontinental dispersal
> mechanisms for the two mammalian groups." Leads to nothing of the sort.
> Total garbage. This is just literalist reading of the fossil record as a
> sign of migration.
>
> Cheers,
>
> John Grehan
>
>
> On Sun, Dec 20, 2020 at 10:05 PM Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom <
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>> wrote:
> Hi John,
>         I guess you must be viewing this as "fake news", but what you call
> "twaddle" is based on serious research findings on a number of different
> vertebrate taxa.  For instance, based on new primate fossil evidence, Bond
> et al., 2015 said:
> "South America and Africa have been separated since the early Late
> Cretaceous, so vicariance of primates does not appear reasonable as an
> explanation for their appearance in the Eocene on two continents separated
> by the Atlantic.  Numerous studies have focused on the possibility of
> primates crossing the Atlantic to reach South America from Africa (for
> example, refs 20, 21), with rafting across the Atlantic usually considered
> a feasible way for how primates arrived in South America, presuming they
> originated in Africa....  A similar means of arrival in South America has
> often been proposed for the hystricognath rodents, the dispersal of
> amphisbaenian and gekkotan lizards, and the Opisthocomiformes, a
> Neotropical group of birds (hoatzins) with weak flight capabilities and
> alleged African origin.  And, with the discovery of the Santa Rosa
> primates, the re-established, relatively contemporaneous first appearance
> datum of primates and rodents in South America leads to consideration of
> possible similarities of intercontinental dispersal mechanisms for the two
> mammalian groups."
> Source:
>
> https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14120.epdf?referrer_access_token=Aq3mCS_U83h_wRkC7RGhw9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0OeRw-3QoIkb2K-RTBu-WlQVpxymwHRfnmhxWlRfp03p3toa22UdqDv45qaqqTQI56ppLk8Rif3uZBwNOtM87pB7tWQHTiPkH8Kqp7bQU_9txkTQeX8ZJsCEYjoymmn_jm4TsHsvXbuWtG92hWtkygbamnr1YG9cXipd6wE5cJZvHLjAzpoJ3FvB385JmwnskCZs6fZZ97GVWucjy98kE1wY54QXNy1YDdxuSd7KJu39g%3D%3D&tracking_referrer=phenomena.nationalgeographic.com
>
>                   ------------------Ken
>
> ________________________________
> From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:
> taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>> on behalf of John Grehan via Taxacom
> <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>>
> Sent: Sunday, December 20, 2020 7:22 PM
> To: taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> >>
> Subject: [Taxacom] Primate twadle
>
> Link below brought to my attention. I call it a classic example of the kind
> of twaddle that is handed out under the umbrella of Darwin's center of
> origin and chance dispersal theory for the origin of allopatry. Mind
> blowing that science can propose 'mysterious' events as an 'explanation. At
> least Creationists appeal to the directing hand of God. Further, this
> prominent (prestigious?) institution claims that we "know" monkeys crossed
> the ocean, when in fact there is absolutely no empirically based supporting
> evidence at all. It's complete fiction. Totally made up (in politics making
> things up is called conspiracy).
>
> John Grehan
>
> https://www.facebook.com/naturalhistorymuseum/videos/824971771677613
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> Nurturing nuance while assaulting ambiguity for about 33 years, 1987-2020.
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-- 
Dunedin, New Zealand.

My books:

*Biogeography and evolution in New Zealand. *Taylor and Francis/CRC, Boca
Raton FL. 2017.
https://www.routledge.com/Biogeography-and-Evolution-in-New-Zealand/Heads/p/book/9781498751872


*Biogeography of Australasia:  A molecular analysis*. Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge. 2014. www.cambridge.org/9781107041028


*Molecular panbiogeography of the tropics. *University of California Press,
Berkeley. 2012. www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520271968


*Panbiogeography: Tracking the history of life*. Oxford University Press,
New York. 1999. (With R. Craw and J. Grehan).
http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=Bm0_QQ3Z6GUC
<http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=Bm0_QQ3Z6GUC&dq=panbiogeography&source=gbs_navlinks_s>


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