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Re: giant birds



Since we have found ourselves debating cladistics again, and hearing the 
question of how valid it is, here's an idea for an interesting experiment:

Let's say that a researcher is attempting to build a cladigram for the 
dromaeosaurs.  That person goes through the rigors of a cladistic analysis.  
Now, lets say that, by some horrible bookeeping error, one finds that the data 
for a sauropod and (HORRORS) a ceratopian has been included with the data for 
dromaeosaurs.  Now, according to cladistic theory, the resulting cladigram 
should look something like this:

        DM        SP     CT
        \         /      /
         \       /      /
          \     /      /
           \   /      /
             V       /
              \     /
               \   /
                \ /
                 V

Where CT = Ceratopian; SP = Sauropod; DM = Dromaeosaur Mess

The question I have is: Has this been done?  Will we get the result above or 
something else?  If we get a cladigram that includes CT *within* DM, we could 
be in trouble.

Along these lines, since the researcher is the one who decides what characters 
are used in a cladistic analysis, does this make the cladigram subective?


Rob Meyerson

***
Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed 
regularly and for the same reason.