Therin of Andor wrote:
Was it ever said canonically that Cardassians were actually therapsids?
Their "scales" may be more like the ridges on a Bajoran nose. Having scale-like markings doesn't make a lizard.
Cardassian women have breasts. That should mean that they're mammalian, no? (Not that Trek has ever paid attention to such issues...)
As for Andorian mating, someone did an analysis over on the Trek Lit forum a while ago and showed that four-sexes reproduction would create huge problems - because 2 out of those 4 sexes would be far more common than the other 2. (Say, if we represent zhen as XXXX, shen as XXXY, chan as XXYY and thaan as XYYY, and then list all possible combinations, XXXY and XXYY would be more than 4 times more probable than XXXX and XXXY. Or to be precise, the ratio would be 13:3.) In that light, marriages in four for the purpose of reproduction would not make sense.
I hear ya, but it makes a bit more sense than Vissians...the gender that 'facilitates' reproduction makes up 3% of the population...growth would be incredibly slow and they'd die out pretty quick. Of course, I've retconned that in my (gasp) personal canon as a UT error...33% makes more sense. Cogenitors would still be a minority but 3% is ridiculous.
Trek makes soooo many mistakes about biology that to accept much of anything we have to ignore a lot of factual science.
Regardless of gender distribution, the more complex the requirements for reproduction, the less likely it is to take place. Sexual reproduction is more complicated than asexual reproduction but the added complexity is more than made up for by the gain in genetic diversity. Would a similar gain be realized by increasing genders beyond two? Everything I've researched says no. Evolution is not going to go in that direction if there is no advantage to it.