Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hippos and teeth

Scientific American reports work that follows on from my recent post about molecular systematics and whales - again, ignoring convergent traits of teeth and primitive traits of the group. In so doing they have managed to identify the nearest known (but extinct) relatives of hippos, a group called anthracotheres, whose fossil record goes back to 41 million years, a "mere" 12 million years after the earliest fossils of whales can be found. Again, teeth provided a false signal, being convergent.