Sunday, March 7, 2010
A Classification Conundrum
Jerry Coyne, during much of the first chapter, cites examples such as the Tiktaalik roseae and Archeopteryx as "transitory" species in the fossil record that show the change from one specific classification of organism to another distinct classification. For example, the Tiktaalik roseae links the change from reptile into fish by possessing hinged limbs and a neck, distinctly reptilian features, yet also has gills and other fishlike features! However, this presents a problem: the present means of classifying animals does not provide a place for such organisms to "fit in." Are organisms like the Tiktaalik roseae and Archeopteryx able to be considered both animal and reptile? Neither? More or less one than the other? Can you find a way to determine how they can fit into a presently available classification? Cite examples from the text to support your claim, and it may be helpful to include an explanation of what a "mosiac" is in terms of transitory organisms as evidence.