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Re: synapomorphies

Dinogeorge writes;

>This is an artifact of the process of speciation by cladogenesis. In
>vertebrates certainly, and probably in most animals, species diversify by
>branching apart, not by coming together. So a cladogram will always resemble
>a tree, with more branches at the top than lower down. But the cladogram
>doesn't tell you which branches became extinct and which survived, and it
>doesn't tell you which of the groups of organisms, whose evolution it diagrams,
>were contemporaries.

Then how useful is the procedure?  I suppose it would help for a taxonomic
study, but it sounds like it wouldn't be all that useful for ecological and
evolutionary studies.  It seems to me that since there is a lot of useful
information left out, that a cladigram should be seen as a starting point,
and not the end in itself.

Did I just reinvent the wheel?  Do people already do this?


"Don't Panic."