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Re: Cladistics

Jeffrey Martz wrote:
> > Actually, an easily accessible (for dinosaur fans) explanation on cladistics
> > are chapters 3 and 4 in Fastovsky and Weishampel's Evolution and Extinction
> > of Dinosaurs (1996, Cambridge).
>       The chapter, and the book, explain the use of phylogenetic
> analysis using synapomorphies well, and utilizes cladistic
> taxonomy, but doesn't really explain well (to me) the philosophy
> behind it.  It is decidedly nontechnical in regard to explaining taxonomy
> (I don't think the technical terms "apomorphy", "synapomorphy",
> "plesiomorphy", "sympleisiomorphy", or even (?) "cladistics" are used
> anywhere in the book). Nor does it compare and contrast with
> other taxonomic systems to show the various advantages (and, God Forbid,
> shortcomings) when compared with other taxonomies. I am not trying to
> crack open the cladistics debate again, I am just saying that I don't
> think "The Evolution and Extinction of Dinosaurs" is a good introductory
> text for anyone trying to understand cladisitic taxonomy.
>      Unfortunatley, I don't have a better reference.  My Evolution
> textbook has a nice chapter that gives decent explanations of phenetics,
> cladistics, and evolutionary taxonomies, but I don't have the reference
> handy.
> LN Jeff
> O-How about Mark Ridley's Evolution text?  It doesn't go into the 
-morphies but does a decent job of explaining monophyly, paraphyly, and 
polyphyly.  However, I haven't read it too closely.  Does anyone have 
any thoughts as to the quality of this text?