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102114.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:06 am Reply with quote

And where do you think I got the tale in my post from?


102117.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:09 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
However, looking at wikipedia, what do I find? The entry for the order Cetacea says:

Cetaceans evolved from land mammals (most likely from certain hoofed carnivores which also gave rise to the artiodactyls the even-hoofed mammals, including pigs and the hippopotamus)

Sure enough, check out the entry for the order Artiodactyla and you'll see that it consists of "even-toed ungulates" and includes the Family Hippopotamidae (hippos) and the Family Suidae (pigs).

So if pigs are members of the same order as hippos, and whales' evolution diverged before before the rise of the artiodactyls, how on earth can it be said that whales are closer relatives to hippos than pigs?

Obviously the researchers just read the entry for Hippopotamus.

Until 1985, naturalists grouped hippos with pigs, based on molar patterns. However evidence, first from blood proteins, then from molecular systematics, and more recently from the fossil record, show that their closest living relatives are cetaceans whales, porpoises and the like [1]. Hippopotami have more in common with whales than they do with other artiodactyls (even-toed ungulates), such as pigs. Thus, the common ancestor of hippos and whales existed after the branch-off from ruminants, which occurred after the divergence from the rest of the even-toed ungulates, including pigs. While the whale and hippo are each other's closest living relatives, their lineages split very soon after their divergence from the rest of the even-toed ungulates.

102118.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:15 am Reply with quote

And where do you think I got the tale in my post from?

Oh, yes. Oops! (Wanders off toward the Chicken Soup)



102313.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:48 am Reply with quote

Pyriform wrote:
Obviously the researchers just read the entry for Hippopotamus.

Ah yes, it seems it's true:

Can we still storm the BBC and ask for Dermot O'Leary's head on a spike, though?

102409.  Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:53 am Reply with quote

The question is, as of this present day, are Hippos' mitochondrial, nuclear and ribosomal DNA more similar with Pigs than whales? I bet it is!

It walks, talks, sleeps, doesn't sprout water from it's head like a pig. It's in the same family as a pig: see here

Which would mean that the Hippos' - as at the time the question was asked by Dermot - closest relative is THE PIG

Give the poor guy his money back Dermot!

152171.  Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:10 pm Reply with quote

A vet in a zoo in Mexico has used Pavlov's technique to train a group of Nile hippos to salivate when they walk into an enclosure. Hippos drool very fast, so it is easy to collect cupfuls. A Queensland zoologist who lectures in reproductive biology is hoping use these samples as a non-invasive way of investigating the hippos' reproductive cycles. Hippos are one of the most dangerous African animals, and until now it has not always been easy to get close enough to collect samples for analysis.


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