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Marsupials ARE mammals Steven!!

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26885.  Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:20 pm Reply with quote

Marsupials are indeed mammals. Marsupials (or metatheria) are from the subclass theria from the class mammalia. Not so sure that all indigenous mammals to Australia are marsupials though … hmmmmm. Anyway Steven … please set the facts straight next week, the worse thing for your show is to be spreading disinformation. Otherwise nice to see you back on TV ... :-)

26887.  Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:35 pm Reply with quote

Yeah, we're sorry matthewwren. We should have spotted that one.

I guess whats quite nice is that so many people have spotted it and reported it on our website.

Nice to know everyone is paying attention, and not just accepting everything they are told.

26896.  Fri Oct 14, 2005 6:16 pm Reply with quote

Matthew - as Brackett intimates you'll find that we've 'fessed up to this one already. However, we do stick by the assertion that all indigenous mammals in Australia are marsupials. To start you off: the dingo isn't indigenous, and neither is the rabbit.

Take us on, though, if you're hard enough.

26999.  Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:46 pm Reply with quote

If you had read the original article you were referring to you would realise he qualifies that there are also native species of the order monotremata, so NOT all indigenous mammals of Australia are marsupials.

Not sure really whether I consider "taking you on" as "hard", but I won't spoil your delusions.

27009.  Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:29 pm Reply with quote

Touché, Matthew.

You're very welcome here.

27011.  Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:32 pm Reply with quote

We are (of course) not omniscient and nor is Stephen.

27012.  Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:33 pm Reply with quote

Easy, Tiger - only joking.

Anyway, your analysis looks right to me. Marsupials AND monotremes in Australia and anyone who says otherwise is a guy who didn't take the monotremes into account.

Don't know what original article you're referring to, but looking forward to reading it in due course.

27014.  Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:37 pm Reply with quote

Also these taxonomic categories are only, in the end, so many words.

The modern comparisons of the genomes of various species are breaking up the old certainties based on simple observation.

Who knows, any more, what belongs in which box?

27113.  Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:36 am Reply with quote

Are humans indigenous to Australia?

27119.  Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:28 am Reply with quote

I think it is legitimate to argue that indigenous in this context refers to an "organism ... that lives naturally in a particular region and [was] not introduced there by man" - so, humans themselves would be implicitly excluded from this interpretation.

The word "indigenous" is also used to refer to certain ethnic groups amongst humans, and could be seen as different in meaning in this context since we are not talking about homo sapiens as a species, but ethnic groups therein. It seems in this context indigenous means something far vaguer - being "native to an area" or "a group of people with a long history in a particular area".

The thing I am most surprised about is that there are no indigenous rodentia in Australia.

JumpingJack - thanks for the welcome! :o) interesting point about genome comparisons ... do you have any articles relating to that?

Flash - np mate! ;o)

27188.  Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:09 pm Reply with quote

As far as I know, the aboriginal Australians are supposed to have walked there from Africa, but I have a feeling the 'out of Africa' theory of human origins also has its detractors at the moment.


I'll try to look out a ref for you on the taxonomy controversy.

27189.  Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:21 pm Reply with quote

OK, this isn't quite right on the button, but it's a lead.

Elephant-shrews are neither elephants nor shrews and their classification has always been elusive and controversial.

Recently, they have been classed as members of a group of animals called 'Afrotherians' whose DNA bears remarkable resemblances to that of humans – even though under traditional methods of classification (ie simple comparison of observable characteristics) they are utterly unlike people.

The Afrotherians are composed of six Orders of mammals – aardvarks, elephants, hyraxes, manatees, elephant shrews and golden moles & tenrecs.

27209.  Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:28 pm Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
As far as I know, the aboriginal Australians are supposed to have walked there from Africa, but I have a feeling the 'out of Africa' theory of human origins also has its detractors at the moment.


I'll try to look out a ref for you on the taxonomy controversy.

Out of Africa via India, Indonesia & other islands

27211.  Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:30 pm Reply with quote

Check out the guys on the Andaman Islands.

Supposed to be as close to the original African humans as we get.

27240.  Tue Oct 18, 2005 4:48 am Reply with quote

As I said, I think humans must be implicitly excluded from the definition I found for indigenous organisms since human migration can only be considered to be through human intervention, if you see what I mean.

Thanks for the links Jumping ... I'll have a read. :o)


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