If you were a reptilian race and had seen a handful of mammal species over the years and you found a new mammal species that had never been seen before wouldn't you, when talking about his uniqueness to him, reference the other mammals you knew of who shared similar qualities?
Continuity porn is of course one of the creeping problems that TNG+ Trek
suffered from, but at the same time, blatantly ignoring old continuity was also a problem. Episodes such as TNG: Home Soil
could have been resolved so much easier, if only the characters had watched TOS: The Devil in the Dark.
This dilemma, of whether to ignore or to bow to old continuity, put all the later series in a lose/lose position.