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LOOKING LIKE YOUR RELATIVES



> I understand your concept of " 'looks' like." For example, segnosaurs do not
> "look" like theropods to me; but they do "look" like prosauropods or
> phytodinosaurs. The trick, therefore, is to isolate and enumerate those
> characters/features that make the animals "look" like or "look" unlike other
> animals.                                            (G.O.)

But these are biases that can distort your search for, and analysis of,
characters. To give an example, the shoebill *looks* like a stork - if you want
it to. You can even select characters that will _prove_ its affinity to storks
(see Feduccia 'The shoebill is a stork'). On the other hand, some data suggests
it's a long-legged pelican. One of the 'four horsemen of cladistics', as
referred to by a lurking friend of mine, is that selection of characters is....
hang on, I don't want to start another cladistic debate.

Lovely weather we're having.

"Tear this ship apart"

DARREN NAISH