I am working from a clipart file I did not make, in Illustrator.
I would like to "simplify" this shape - that is, remove the anchor points inside of it to only preserve the outline:
I have found that only the Direct Selection Tool followed by pressing the Delete Key can remove the middle anchor and curves associated to it (the Delete Anchor Point Tool won't do anything).
However, after removing the central anchor and getting what seems to be a clean, simple shape, it still doesn't "play nice" with other shapes: for example, it doesn't allow me to make a Pathfinder Unite action. I put the file here and two "ears" on each side for you to try Pathfinder Unite if you want (if there's a better file hosting site, please let me know in comments and I will change its location).
What is wrong with this shape and how can I make it behave normally?