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Re: Cladistics

At 10:00 AM 1/31/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I graduated from college just as folks began mentioning cladistics with any
>gusto, and I don't fully understand the implications of this new system,
>which seems to overthrow all the phylogenetics I learned.
>Is there a good, solid, not-too-technical text that will explain it all for
>Any help would be greatly appreciated.  My students would probably appreciate
>it too.  "Oh, great Mr. Owen, another NEW thing to learn!"

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).

Chapter 3 describes the methodology, Chapter 4 puts it into practice (by
showing the place of Dinosauria within Vertebrata).  The bibliography for
Chapter 3 also gives the reference to Wiley et al.'s The Compleat Cladist,
which is something of the standard reference these days (although sometimes
hard to find).

>-----"Oh, Bother" said Pooh, "We'll have to nuke them from orbit."

Pooh as Ripley?

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"To trace that life in its manifold changes through past ages to the present
is a ... difficult task, but one from which modern science does not shrink.
In this wide field, every earnest effort will meet with some degree of
success; every year will add new and important facts; and every generation
will bring to light some law, in accordance with which ancient life has been
changed into life as we see it around us to-day."
        --O.C. Marsh, Vice Presidential Address, AAAS, August 30, 1877