By "perfected" I mean the natures way of making sure species have higher chances of survival - both as species and as each individual (it's safer to have life birth and take care of a young than lay eggs and abandon them, hoping at least half of young would survive). The Skarrats take care of their eggs
I think if your Cardassians would be compared to therapsids in an insulting matter, it wouldn't be more or less insulting than calling them reptiles.
My Cardassians don't mind being compared to reptiles in a neutral way. You could probably hear someone calling their loved one "my sweet lizard" or something like that
I can try to draw a mar'kuu, but am not sure if I would be able to draw exactly what I have in my head. But I'll try