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Living species first classified from discovery of bones?

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Living species first classified from discovery of bones?

Postby barefoot » Tue May 15, 2007 1:39 am

Hi,

I'm having a debate about evolution on another forum. One person is arguing that it is wrong for scientists to classify early mammals from their fossils because "no living organism would be classified as a mammal solely on the basis of its bones and teeth."

What I'm looking for is an example where a new living species (preferably a mammal) was first classified by its skeleton alone, and then confirmed later after an actual living animal was finally discovered. I would imagine this must have happened somewhere along the line. Anyone know of such a case.

Thanks!
Last edited by barefoot on Tue May 15, 2007 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dr. dugmore » Tue May 15, 2007 7:20 am

i know of one but i cant emember the name, it was a bird in new zealand, yea...........

hmmmm, i will edit this post if i cant remember it
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Postby kotoreru » Tue May 15, 2007 12:31 pm

I know what you are talking about, but cant place a name to the image.

Also: mammal's teeth are of course the best thing to identify them with. Other than the obvious logistics of the fact that teeth are the most frequently fossilised part of any animal due to hardness, their unique teeth are what makes a mammal a mammal (oh yeh, and mammary glands).

Your correspondant is well out of depth with this one I think...
"What are humans if they don't learn at University? Animals, yes."

^^One of my ex-girlfriends said that. I stress the ex part.
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Postby WolverSyr » Tue May 15, 2007 7:11 pm

Can't think of a mammal, but the Coelacanth was first described from fossils - then found alive.
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Postby cotinga » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:25 pm

Bush dog Speothos venaticus. It was first discribed based on fossils found in caves.

More information on Mammalian Species number 783 volume 1 december 2005.
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Postby david23 » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:59 pm

Where is this forum at, your friend's argument seems to be flawed by itself. Before DNA sequence was possible, all phylogeny research for the past couple hundreds of years have been done base on the morphology of the fossils.
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Postby Skeletor Rinpoche » Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:38 pm

I think the bird you are trying to name is Archaeopteryx, one of the first link between reptiles and modern birds and its fossils have been found in New Zealand.
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