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From: mary whalen <marewhalen@yahoo.com>
Subject: (whorl) Incus' name
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 09:04:12 

This is Sean Whalen (prion).

It was asked earlier in this list by someone about what animal Patera
Jerboa confuses Incus' name with when he thinks that an incus is an
animal because he doesn't know it's a bone.

As far as I can tell, he mistakes it for a tree shrew. These are
members of the order Scandentia (climbing) and its only family
Tupaiidae.  They are related to the earliest mammals and similar to
both insectivores and primates.  The largest species are no more than
9 inches long.  They live mostly in trees and physically resemble
shrews.  They have long tails, large ears, and large eyes.  They have
sharp claws, longer hind feet, and long snouts.  Various species eat
insects, small animals, fruit, and birds' eggs.  Males are
bad-tempered toward one another.

Now, I would think that Wolfe would have put this in just because
Incus is about the most shrew-like individual ever, but it just so
happens that the primitive mammals that the tupaiids were related to
had something that their reptile ancestors lacked.  The members of
family Dryolestidae were the first animals whose jaw bones had lost
three of their bones into the structure of the middle ear, one of
these being the incus.

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