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Thread: taxonomic class

  1. #1 taxonomic class 
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    May 2009
    speculative question
    A taxonomic class beyond mammalia. What attributes would it likely possess? What would its latin designation most likely be? What are the chances thatit may be intellegent, even sentient? what might then next step be beyond hair, skin, warm blood and the ability to produce milk for young? Double helix or triple? From what I know of biology the most I can speculate is the probability of a 6 chambered heart.

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  3. #2  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Washington State, USA

    "Beyond Mammalia" could mean Superclass Tetrapoda it could mean one of hte subclasses: Prototheria or Theria.


    Are you meaning what would be the evolutionary progression from mammalia to something new.

    At that point you have to specify what mammalian group you want to look at, naked mole rats or flying foxes or gorillas or bottle nosed dolpohins or............

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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    New Zealand
    If we look at the history of evolution, we see that a new major taxon would probably follow after a major global disaster, similar to the dinosaur killing asteroid, or the Permian extinction event. When these occur, there often follows a major speciation event, including the flowering of a new taxonomic group.

    However, in each case, the fossil record shows that the new group pre-existed the catastrophe, and burst into evolutionary diversification after the disaster. If that were the case for what is queried here, the successor to the mammals already exists, albeit as an obscure and rare group. What might it be?

    Perhaps it could be a derivative of cetaceans? No more hair, but only bodily fat for insulation? Sleep using half a brain at a time? Large brains and highly developed social lives?

    Or could it be a descendent of humans? Again, no hair. Large brains. Social organisation.

    Or maybe, as in Kurt Vonnegut's novel "Galapagos', the successor may not have discernible intelligence at all.

    This is speculation, and anything goes.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Obscure line you say?

    then I predict it will be the hominins.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric
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