Where do Easter bunnies come from?

| 55 Comments

They and we are both mammals, but bunnies are in the order Lagomorpha and we aren’t. Clarifying the relationships of the mammalian orders (pdf) will require more data. Unlike birds and lizards bunnies are synapsids. Recall that early amniotes split into synapsids and sauropsids (mammal like amniotes and reptile like amniotes). Clearly we mammals and the sauropsids are all craniates.

I’m posting this quick reminder because today is the day for it, and because some readers may enjoy the well done article on the subject by DarkSyde.

55 Comments

Hey, as long as I keep finding Marshmellow Peeps in my basket every Easter, I Believe! I Believe!

Peeps.…Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

Well, rabbits are closely related to humans (and other primates and the flying lemurs), especially when compared to other other mammals and craniates.

Unfortunately, this is way out of date: http://www.colorado.edu/eeb/courses[…]de_small.pdf

Whales do not belong to a separate order anymore, because molecular evidence showed that that hippos, which are ARTIODACTYLA, are actually more closely related to whales than to any other land animal, including other ARTIODACTYLA. Also, putting all marsupials in the same order is nonsense, since their diversity is nearly as great as placental mammals.

Dale wrote:

“Whales do not belong to a separate order anymore, because molecular evidence showed that that hippos, which are ARTIODACTYLA, are actually more closely related to whales than to any other land animal, including other ARTIODACTYLA.”

Correct. Genetic analysis definately reveals that the Cetacea are deeply nested within the Artiodactyla. Oh well, what can you expect when the terms Protista and Reptila are still in use?

Speaking of bunnies.….…

Here’s some nonsense from Answers in Genesis as to why bunny fossils aren’t found in cretacous

http://www.answersingenesis.org/art[…]unny-fossils

My friend asked me this question “find me a fossilised bunny in the cambrian or any equivalent…just one. thats all you would need.” What would be a good response to that.

So the question is, how do creationists explain why Cambrian sediments have no fossilized rabbits?

There’s actually a very obvious explanation within the global Flood model, and Dr. Snelling explains it: “[B]ecause the Flood began in the ocean basins (‘the fountains of the great deep burst open’) and the ocean waters then flooded over the continents.”10 In another article, he provides more detail, writing:

[The fossil record] can be more reasonably explained by Flood geologists as due to the order of burial of the different ecological zones of organisms by the Flood waters. For example, shallow marine organisms/ecological zones would be the first destroyed by the fountains of the great deep breaking open, with the erosional runoff from the land due to the torrential rainfall concurrently burying them.11

But there is another explanation that seems even more natural. After all, even if trilobites and dinosaurs were alive today, they still wouldn’t be found together. Why? Because they live in different ecological zones. Dinosaurs are land animals, but trilobites are bottom-dwelling sea creatures

According to creationists, the geological systems represent different ecological zones, the buried remains of plants and animals that once lived together in the same environment. A walk through Grand Canyon, then, is not like a walk through evolutionary time; instead, it’s like a walk from the bottom of the ocean, across the tidal zone, over the shore, across the lowlands, and into the upland regions.

We shouldn’t expect to find rabbit fossils in the Cambrian any more than we would expect to find rabbits today (dead or alive) on the ocean floor.

So there you have it. Explaining geological sorting is easy. Certainly as far as Snelling and Parker are concerned. Still, I thought the creation museum showed rabbits humans, and dinosaurs all in the Garden of Eden at the same time ?????

AIG crap:

“After all, even if trilobites and dinosaurs were alive today, they still wouldn’t be found together. Why? Because they live in different ecological zones. Dinosaurs are land animals, but trilobites are bottom-dwelling sea creatures.”

Right. They all lived at the same time but they never appear in the same rock layers. They always appear in exactly the same sequeince predicted by evolutionary theory. What a coincidence. Man, God was really testing their faith and they came through with flying colors. No mater how incredibly stupid the explanation and no matter how convoluted the logic required, they are still absolutely emotionally incapalble of trusting the evidence of their own senses. Very admirable.

…they still wouldn’t be found together. Why? Because they live in different ecological zones. Dinosaurs are land animals, but trilobites are bottom-dwelling sea creatures.

Riiiiight.

Um, aren’t rabbits land animals too, just like dinosaurs?

And, of course, there were no modern mammals that could have conceivably shared a marine ecosystem (or at least a common watery grave in shallow seas) with trilobites.

Um, except for dolphins.

Actually, all the cetaceans.

And walrus.

And any number of seal and sea lion species.

Oh, and manatees, sea snakes, dugong, penguins, sea otters, hippos and platypus living in river estuaries , and anything that got washed into the sea by the flood.

Um, other than that, it’s a really good point AIG has there.

Also, how do they explain why rabbits and dinosaurs are never found together, or why, if rabbits, dinosaurs and trilobites all died in the same Flood, how come their bodies aren’t washed together, either?

I’m guessing that an Easter Bunny in the Cambrian would pose a problem.

Well, see, AiG has a puzzle to solve. Clearly, dinosaurs and rabbits aren’t found in the same strata. Clearly (just visit the creation museum) they inhabited the same locales at the same times. Clearly, the creationist model of history can’t be wrong. So what could the answer possibly be?

Perhaps people here can’t understand that to the AiG people, their model is incontrovertible fact, because their god said it is. They actually believe this crap, they can’t help it. So the fossil record represents a genuine puzzle. They can’t help but wonder why God’s Word is so clear, yet God’s Physical Record refutes it and is equally clear. WHY? WHY?

Yes, they can produce convoluted misleading “explanations” composed almost entirely of selective omissions. They can cite runoff from the land where it fits, and sincerely overlook it where it’s inconvenient. But probably some of the AiG people are genuinely confused, because they ARE capable of seeing that their best explanations don’t make sense.

What always confuses me is, why not simply accept the full implications of their position, and assert that their god miracled it that way for divine reasons beyond human understanding and let it go at that? Why try so very very hard to bend misunderstandings of natural forces beyond all recognition instead? They already posit a god who notes the fall of every sparrow. Why this god isn’t allowed to lovingly position every fossil baffles me.

Doc Bill said:

I’m guessing that an Easter Bunny in the Cambrian would pose a problem.

Why would it? What evidence is there that trilobites didn’t like chocolate Easter eggs?

Flint said:

Well, see, AiG has a puzzle to solve. Clearly, dinosaurs and rabbits aren’t found in the same strata. Clearly (just visit the creation museum) they inhabited the same locales at the same times. Clearly, the creationist model of history can’t be wrong. So what could the answer possibly be?

Perhaps people here can’t understand that to the AiG people, their model is incontrovertible fact, because their god said it is. They actually believe this crap, they can’t help it. So the fossil record represents a genuine puzzle. They can’t help but wonder why God’s Word is so clear, yet God’s Physical Record refutes it and is equally clear. WHY? WHY?

Yes, they can produce convoluted misleading “explanations” composed almost entirely of selective omissions. They can cite runoff from the land where it fits, and sincerely overlook it where it’s inconvenient. But probably some of the AiG people are genuinely confused, because they ARE capable of seeing that their best explanations don’t make sense.

What always confuses me is, why not simply accept the full implications of their position, and assert that their god miracled it that way for divine reasons beyond human understanding and let it go at that? Why try so very very hard to bend misunderstandings of natural forces beyond all recognition instead? They already posit a god who notes the fall of every sparrow. Why this god isn’t allowed to lovingly position every fossil baffles me.

There is the alternative of “The Devil Did It,” but, even a majority of creationists consider that either silly or inappropriate to mention. The robust minority, on the other hand, don’t care, as they already know that whoever disagrees with them are going to Hell, anyhow.

Doc Bill said:

I’m guessing that an Easter Bunny in the Cambrian would pose a problem.

Of course … the Cambrian era ended before Jesus was born.

Flint said:

… What always confuses me is, why not simply accept the full implications of their position, and assert that their god miracled it that way for divine reasons beyond human understanding and let it go at that? Why try so very very hard to bend misunderstandings of natural forces beyond all recognition instead? They already posit a god who notes the fall of every sparrow. Why this god isn’t allowed to lovingly position every fossil baffles me.

Some come pretty close to this when they say that the universe was created with the “appearance of age.”

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/aa.htm

Unfortunately for my creationist friends, the Earth also seems to have been created with the appearance of common descent all the way down to the genetic level, and to have the appearance that there was no global flood.

Clarifying the relationships of the mammalian orders will require more data.

WHAT? They haven’t been clarified? That’s evidence for a young earth and special creation! /creationist

Heh heh… Happy Easter, folks.

SWT wrote:

“Unfortunately for my creationist friends, the Earth also seems to have been created with the appearance of common descent all the way down to the genetic level, and to have the appearance that there was no global flood.”

So the choices are:

(1) God is a liar

(2) The earth is ancient and there was no global flood and common descent is true

Well, I know many people who can still believe in a loving God if (2) is true. I don’t really see why anyone would even want (1) to be true, but to each his own.

Really, Easter Bunny Brings Satan’s Communion. And I don’t think it’s a Poe, though the use of phrases like “Satanic Bunnyists” and “… Catholics. The inheritors of the Babylonian religion, who have perverted every aspect of Christianity with the ways of Nimrod and Semiramis (Ishtar)!” make one seriously wonder.

Hmmmm. Satanic Bunnyists. Where’s Hugh Hefner when you need him?

Man, the more I read that site the more Poe-ish it seems. I really really hope it’s a Poe. Anyone know?

The consensus on Pharyngula seems to be Poe.

Whales do not belong to a separate order anymore, because molecular evidence showed that that hippos, which are ARTIODACTYLA, are actually more closely related to whales than to any other land animal, including other ARTIODACTYLA.

Not to mention that birds are nested within reptiles, closer to crocodiles than to lizards.

Land vertebrates are all a subset of some particular order of fish.

Looks like http://tolweb.org/Eutheria/15997 could be clarified on the whale hippo relationship.

Also, putting all marsupials in the same order is nonsense, since their diversity is nearly as great as placental mammals.

Make it a subclass (or superorder?) with several subsidiary orders? I think that just illustrates a general problem that is caused by trying to force clades into a linear ranking system. It’s convenient at times, but causes people to spend time trying to organize the ranks, even when the ranking system doesn’t really make sense.

Henry

“Satanic Bunnyists”? Is the Easter bunny custom customary outside the USA?

RBH said:

The consensus on Pharyngula seems to be Poe.

I vote Poe. It’s just too goofy.

A man was driving down a road when all of a sudden a huge rabbit suddenly hopped right in front of his car. He slammed on the brakes but it was too late and he struck the rabbit hard and it flew off to the side of the road. Horrified he quickly brought his vehicle to a stop and rushed over but when he saw the lifeless body, the basket and all those eggs and candy strewn about his worse fears were realized. He had killed the Easter Bunny. Overcome with grief he sat by the side of the road and wept. Soon a georgeous blonde drove by in a convertable Mercedes and saw the man sobbing uncontrollably surrounded by chocolate candy and peeps. She stopped her car and came over and asked what was the problem. “Can’t you see”, cried the man “I’ve killed the Easter Bunny!” Taking stock of the situation she said “I can fix this”. She ran back to her car and came back with a spray can and sprayed it on the body. Soon the rabbit came back to life gathered its belongings took a few hops and turned around and waved at them. Took some more hops and waved again. This continued until it disappeared from sight. Astonished, the man asked the blonde what was in that can? “See” she said, “it says right here on the can. Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. And adds permanent wave”.

I really really hope it’s a Poe

For better or worse it’s a clear parody.

There is one method that helps to identify them. The parodies use a lot of comically exaggerated language about Satan, Hellfire, blasphemy, and so on, and make a lot of comments about how God will punish.

But the parodies almost never contain language that implies or seems designed to provoke human on human violence. In this case we don’t see anything along the lines of “a lot of people are getting very angry about the way these Easter bunny worshippers are insulting our traditions and there may be consequences…” or similar cowardly but threatening language. The real stuff frequently contains that sort of thing, and the parodies almost never do.

I vote Poe. It’s just too goofy

Is “Poe” being used here as a synonym for parody? I had thought Poe meant that no matter how idiotic and goofy the parody, some True Believer could top it with something even MORE idiotic and goofy, and sincerely believe it. Making genuine parody essentially impossible to identify.

stevaroni said:

Um, other than that, it’s a really good point AIG has there.

It boggles the mind how they can pull off sounding scientific enough to make people who want to believe just say, “Ok, good. Scientific justification for my beliefs” and go on without ever bothering to learn how fast the AiG “explanations” fall apart when confronted with the details.

To my knowledge there are no Easter bunnies in Sweden. They live in a different ecological zone. Instead there is the “skvader” Tetrao lepus pseudo-hybridus rarissimus L. You may read more about it in Wikipedia.

Having the choice between evolution and creation this is an obvious proof of the latter.

Arggh, I always thought Aardvark and anteater were essentially different words for the same thing. Thanks for making me feel stupid! Great post, really a wake up call about just how much work goes into classification, and how complex it can get.

Happy to hear the the Easter Bunny will be okay, now Satan won’t have to train a replacement.

It looks like all that sugar (refined, which means that they “add” “chemicals” ;-)) in the Peeps is giving you “Darwinists” amnesia. Do I have to remind you that Michael Behe made it quite clear that humans and bunnies chare common ancestors, and thinks that reading the Bible as a science text is silly? AIG is free to take it up with him if, as they imply with every word, they think he’s every bit as mistaken as “Darwinists.” AIG’s fairy tales may be fun to refute, but the shameless double standard they employ is what can really get them - and the DI - in big trouble.

Here [Sweden] we would either be discussing the ancestry of hens, or the peculiar light controlled hormonal regulation that makes them lay brightly colored and even patterned eggs around easter time.

[My own idea is that it is a vestigial trait from the time when dinosaurs had to adapt to the change in technology in Flintwood from monochromatics to Lithocolor™. Just look how Dino turned out! But I will happily adopt any theories from the biological community as regards this topic.]

Pete Dunkelberg said:

Is the Easter bunny custom customary outside the USA?

RM said:

To my knowledge there are no Easter bunnies in Sweden.

Hmm, well, we do have the term, and some form of candy bunny (usually chocolate, I think) on Easter. But I had to look it up before remembering that the bunny is associated with bringing or laying easter eggs - here the colored eggs are simply made for fun, or supposed to be laid by easter celebrating hens, I believe.

I compared the swedish and “international” wikipedia, and while the customs are brought by german immigrants in each nation, the US has a pre-commercial tradition (~ 18th century), while Sweden has a commercial candy tradition (~ 20th century). Seems some families here are more into the custom than most (i.e. hiding “bunny” eggs to find).

[More specifically it seems US kids gets candy in a basket (?), while here kids may go around dressed as Easter Grannys to exchange painted cards for candy. (Local traditions vary a lot - in some parts kids give out candy, which could be seen as unusual and cruel torture of children. :-) Though I assume they take a hefty share. :-o) And both kids and adults (well, mostly adults) may give each other candies in old style cardboard, plastic or sometimes even chocolate eggs.]

Torbjörn Larsson, OM said:

Local traditions vary a lot - in some parts kids give out candy, which could be seen as unusual and cruel torture of children. :-)

On second thought, that should probably be a :-\. I seem to remember witnessing this somewhere, and the youngest kid didn’t quite get the idea.

I have always thought of the American Easter bunny as a young rabbit but cannot say of what species. What we have in Scandinavia is the recently imported “påskhare” which is a hare, not a rabbit. Likewise, in Germany the animal we discuss is called “Osterhase”. Both names mean Easter Hare and the species is most likely Lepus europaeus. This species is not native to Sweden but has taken the place of the traditional Swedish hare Lepus timidus in the southern part of the country.

When I was a kid in Sweden, in the 1940’s, there were no Easter hares but I remember well the first time seeing a German hare (L. europaeus) close by at a family excursion.

Easter eggs are an old tradition but egg hunting is something my own family learnt while living in the U.S. in the 1960’s.

Flint said:

I vote Poe. It’s just too goofy

Is “Poe” being used here as a synonym for parody? I had thought Poe meant that no matter how idiotic and goofy the parody, some True Believer could top it with something even MORE idiotic and goofy, and sincerely believe it. Making genuine parody essentially impossible to identify.

I think you may be right. Parody would have been a better word. I’m still getting used to the word “Poe”.

Henry J said:

Whales do not belong to a separate order anymore, because molecular evidence showed that that hippos, which are ARTIODACTYLA, are actually more closely related to whales than to any other land animal, including other ARTIODACTYLA.

Not to mention that birds are nested within reptiles, closer to crocodiles than to lizards.

Land vertebrates are all a subset of some particular order of fish.

Looks like http://tolweb.org/Eutheria/15997 could be clarified on the whale hippo relationship.

Also, putting all marsupials in the same order is nonsense, since their diversity is nearly as great as placental mammals.

Make it a subclass (or superorder?) with several subsidiary orders? I think that just illustrates a general problem that is caused by trying to force clades into a linear ranking system. It’s convenient at times, but causes people to spend time trying to organize the ranks, even when the ranking system doesn’t really make sense.

Henry

“birds are nested within reptiles, closer to crocodiles than to lizards” - actually IIRC that’s correct - crocodillians, avians (extant dinosaurs) and extinct dinosaurs are all archosaurs

Where exactly do turtles belong in the overall big picture? Is ther any universal agreement about their lineage?

What, if anything is an easter bunny?

Sorry, just been reading the last chapters of “Hen’s Teeth…”

OK, we got all the hard-core biology along with European traditions, but which one of you smartasses can tell me how the Easter Bunny evolved the ability to lay colored boiled eggs?

/That’s gotta hurt

fnxtr said:

What, if anything is an easter bunny?

Well, that really depends. Is the phrase meant to be analogous to “Christmas baby,” or analogous to “Christmas ham.”

:P

That’s an excellent question. As far as I know, they are the one reptilian clade not even closely related to the rhynocephalians (Tuatara is the sole living representative. I realize I am probably misspelling its clade’s proper name.), squamates (lizards and snakes) and archosaurs (crocodilians, non-avian dinosaurs (though this would technically be a paraphyletic group), and birds (avian dinosaurs)):

the pro from dover said:

Where exactly do turtles belong in the overall big picture? Is ther any universal agreement about their lineage?

Stanton said:

Also, how do they explain why rabbits and dinosaurs are never found together, or why, if rabbits, dinosaurs and trilobites all died in the same Flood, how come their bodies aren’t washed together, either?

This is because nobody knows what any of these so-called bones belong too. The high priests of evolutionism just call them “rabbits” or “dinosaurs” or “trilobites” according to the pre-conceived teaching of their faith.

the pro from dover said:

Where exactly do turtles belong in the overall big picture? Is ther any universal agreement about their lineage?

There isn’t universal agreement on just about anything. But there is no clear scientific consensus on the relationships of turtles. There are three currently live hypotheses, of which (IMO) the best evidence favors the last: 1) turtles are parareptiles, i.e. sauropsidans but not diapsids; 2) they are diapsids, most closely related to the sauropterygians; 3) they are archosaurs.

Lee, M. S. Y. 1996. Correlated progression and the origins of turtles. Nature 379:812-815.

Rieppel, O. 1999. Turtle origins. Science 283:945-946.

Hedges, S. B., and L. L. Poling. 1999. A molecular phylogeny of reptiles. Science 283:998-1001.

All old references, I’m afraid. I’m waiting for someone to publish a big molecular data set that will settle the question, though in fact I don’t know of anyone working directly on the problem.

The Tree-of-Life page http://tolweb.org/Amniota/14990 tentatively puts turtles (Testudines) as a branch of Anapsida (.

IIRC, Lenny Flank said they’re Diapsida, and closer to crocodiles than lizards.

Henry

Henry J said:

The Tree-of-Life page http://tolweb.org/Amniota/14990 tentatively puts turtles (Testudines) as a branch of Anapsida (.

IIRC, Lenny Flank said they’re Diapsida, and closer to crocodiles than lizards.

Henry

The supportors of turtles as diapsids point out that the anapsid features (i.e., the lack of fenestra in the back of the head) are a result of embryonic development, as well as due to recent genomic comparison.

Henry J said:

The Tree-of-Life page http://tolweb.org/Amniota/14990 tentatively puts turtles (Testudines) as a branch of Anapsida (.

Notice that this isn’t your grandmother’s Anapsida – the paraphyletic group composed of primitive amniotes – but a clade equivalent to Parareptilia; i.e this is the hypothesis put forward by Lee 1996, and the ToL tree comes from Lee 1995 (and Laurin & Reisz 1995).

IIRC, Lenny Flank said they’re Diapsida, and closer to crocodiles than lizards.

Lenny is taking the position of Hedges & Poling 1999. It’s amazing how little there’s been on the subject since then, but here’s a more recent, though unsatisfying in terms of data, attempt that agrees with the archosaur hypothesis: Shedlock, A. M. et al. 2007. Phylogenomics of nonavian reptiles and the structure of the ancestral amniote genome. PNAS 104:2767-2772. (Available free at the PNAS web site.)

RM said:

I have always thought of the American Easter bunny as a young rabbit but cannot say of what species. What we have in Scandinavia is the recently imported “påskhare” which is a hare, not a rabbit.

Oh, duh! Thanks RM, I guess the difference never reached the conscious stage.

Of course, by now larger cities often have misplaced bunnies in them, for example Stockholm has several colonies. So perhaps we should switch species? :-)

DistendedPendulusFrenulum said:

which one of you smartasses can tell me how the Easter Bunny evolved the ability to lay colored boiled eggs?

/That’s gotta hurt

Well, I’m bowing out on account that I did the colored hen eggs (and the boiled variant is trivially from the chicken who crossed the desert road) and that I’m not smart.

[Or is it smart to bow out? Oh dear, now I’m confused!]

Btw, why would it hurt? Pellets and eggs are obviously the same kind on account of their design - just ask the poop-experts from AIG.

Henry J said:

Looks like http://tolweb.org/Eutheria/15997 could be clarified on the whale hippo relationship.

Actually, it’s clear if you pay attention to the details of the branch representation. If you will note, the branch leading to Artiodactyla isn’t a solid line but 3 thin, parallel lines. It takes a bit of looking, but you will eventually be able to discover that this means the group is paraphyletic. And of course it’s paraphyletic because Cetacea is smack in the middle of it.

Now of course the whole thing should be revised to eliminate Cetacea as an order, but there is some pedagogical value in putting traditional orders onto the Eutheria page too.

The page also mentions that the tree hasn’t been revised since 1995! Hey, mammal people. Get on the stick. That tree doesn’t even have Afrotheria.

Careful embryologic studies should definitely put the question of primary vs, secondary anapsid skull structure to rest. If this clearly shows that anapsid is only superficial in turtles, then it shouldn’t have any major classification importance. This should eliminate the status as a parareptile. If genome studies confirm that turtles are most closely aligned to crocodiles would that not seal the case for archosauria? The term parareptile is confusing to me and how it differs from the term anapsid. Is one a sauropsid and the other not? All this reptilian angst stems from a trip I made years ago to the AMNH in NYC where the exhibit placed turtles unquestionably in the parareptiles. Maybe I should worry more about my 401K instead.

the pro from dover said:

Careful embryologic studies should definitely put the question of primary vs, secondary anapsid skull structure to rest.

Not necessarily. Embryos do not carry the entire history of their lineages.

If genome studies confirm that turtles are most closely aligned to crocodiles would that not seal the case for archosauria?

Of course it would. But we don’t have any such conclusive studies so far.

The term parareptile is confusing to me and how it differs from the term anapsid. Is one a sauropsid and the other not?

Depends. Parareptilia is within Sauropsida. Anapsida may or may not be, depending on the definition you’re using. Anapsida, traditionally, refers to a condition that was taken to have phylogenetic meaning. And when it had such meaning it was interpreted to apply to all amniotes that weren’t synapsids or diapsids (assuming that euryapsids, etc. are really diapsids). I see that the term also has been applied (by the ToLWeb page, for example) as a synonym for Parareptilia. In the former case, Anapsida would partially overlap Sauropsida. In the latter case, it would be within Sauropsida.

Where do Easter bunnies come from?

The East Cambrian?

can tell me how the Easter Bunny evolved the ability to lay colored boiled eggs?

Which came first, the rabbit or the egg?

Of course, by now larger cities often have misplaced bunnies in them, for example Stockholm has several colonies. So perhaps we should switch species? :-)

Hare today, gone tomorrow?

——

If you will note, the branch leading to Artiodactyla isn’t a solid line but 3 thin, parallel lines. It takes a bit of looking, but you will eventually be able to discover that this means the group is paraphyletic.

Yes, that website uses dotted lines to indicate when they were unsure about something.

1995? Was there even an internet that far back? (Well, that was a year or so before I started making use of it.)

Henry

Henry J said:

If you will note, the branch leading to Artiodactyla isn’t a solid line but 3 thin, parallel lines. It takes a bit of looking, but you will eventually be able to discover that this means the group is paraphyletic.

Yes, that website uses dotted lines to indicate when they were unsure about something.

Don’t confuse dotted lines with 3 thin, parallel lines, and don’t confuse unsureness with paraphyly.

One last question. Do amphibians have anapsid skulls or does that term refer only to primitive amniotes?

Mike Elzinga said:I think you may be right. Parody would have been a better word. I’m still getting used to the word “Poe”.

I was using it in the sense of “I can’t tell if this is a real creationist or a parody.” Since a “Poe” is (to me, at least) a successful parody such that one can’t tell it’s not a real creationist, I wondered whether it was a Poe – a successful parody. That may be inconsistent with most usage, but I’m with Humpty Dumpty on that.

the pro from dover said:

One last question. Do amphibians have anapsid skulls or does that term refer only to primitive amniotes?

Ancient tetrapods have anapsid skulls, more or less. After all, it’s the primitive condition for amniotes, so the ancestral group to amniotes had similar skulls. Modern amphibians have highly modified skulls with several openings all their own, difficult to compare.

Thanks for the info. My next problem is that I can’t corerespond with Pharyngula because I cant get their fershlugginer program to recognize my e-mail address. I’m much too old to have to jump thru these hoops.

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