Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dark_Convoy, Apr 20, 2006.
Woah, that's pretty cool. I've always wondered from where snakes came. When I saw the title, I thought this thread was about the sequel to "Snakes On A Plane".
Evolution is so awesome. Like how whales started out as deer-like creatures that lived and foraged along the ancient shorelines, and then gradually spent more time in the water feeding and fleeing from land-based predators, until they finally moved into the water full time.
Interesting, I had thought this thread was about me.
They found Cobra Commander?
So far as I know, sinonyx is the earliest known ancestor of the cetacean line, and it doesn't look all that deer-like to me: sinonyx
Yes, deer-like, as whales are still classified as ungulates, or hoofed mammals, such as deer. Granted, deer are not carnivorous, but hooves are a deer-like quality.
No pics? Oh well, still is a nice piece of info.
If snakes still had legs they'd have a much easier time getting on a plane.
Snakes are ill-tempered as it is. Could you imagine how ripshit they'd be if they had to take their shoes off and wait in line while going through the airport?
They're better off sneaking up the ramps to the cargo hold or slithering up the landing gear.
really cool stuff. i love it when they find things like this. oh and here is a picture of the fossil from livescience for anyone interested
I ain't gettin' on no plane with no snakes, Hannibal. I don't care if they got legs or not.
If I can continue the friendly taxonomic debate...
In common language, most people considered ungulates to be hoofed animals (to whatever degree they use the term ungulate), but that is misleading. Hoofs are not required to be an ungulate, and for that matter, what scientists count as hooves may have little resemblance to what most people think of as hooves.
Thus, deer-like and ungulate-like are two different things. Ungulates have a good deal of variety, and many are not terribly deer-like. Under those guidelines, you could say the whale's ancestor was "giraffe-like" or "cow-like," but clearly each paints a very different picture, each very inaccurate.
Whales may be related to hooved ungulates such as deer(to what degree is currently contested), but that's not quite the same thing as saying that they descended from them (or a physically similar ancestor). To say a whale's ancestor was "deer-like" because they may share a common ancestor is like saying a brontosaurus was "eagle-like."
Now. moving to more recent cladistic classification (which largely disposes of Lammarck's rigid hierarchy for more accurate, if unweildy, evolutionary groupings), there are a wide variety of mammals that have been included under the ungulates, with hooves strictly optional. As with much of modern taxonomy this is highly tentative, but if current ideas are borne out, the closest living relative to whales would be hippos, and after that, pigs (wowever, saying the whale's ancestor was hippo-like or pig-like would also be misleading).
Finally, since the anatomy of the whale's flippers (including, I believe) the rear flippers of ancestral species) displays a full five digits, it is highly unlikely that they ever had a direct ancestor with hooves (or more specifically, with hooves that we would recognize, such as those on a deer or horse). For a five-toed animal to evolve two-toed hooves, and then a five-digit flipper would be unprecedented, and were such a thing ever discovered it would dramatically shake our understanding of the evolutionary process.
If they had legs, they might wear shoes, and then have to take them off for security inspection, which would hamper their bording ability.
Of course, if they had wings they wouldn't have to bother.
damnit. beaten to the punch with the on a plane jokes.
Not to badger the issue, but while you were splitting hares with the friendly taxonomic debate, I already covered the legs/shoes/airport joke.
Nice try, though.
Snake! It's a snake!
Right, right .... snake. I meant snake. Not badger.
And I definitely didn't use 'hare' instead of 'hair' to further the pun, either.
'Snakes With Legs On A Plane'?
"I've had it with these mother@#$%ing walking snakes!"
Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes.
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