|Mickey Mortimer wrote:
>>Sure they are. For instance, Norell et al.'s (2001) analysis of
coelurosaur phylogeny included 40 characters out of 205 that had more
than two states. Holtz, Sereno, Forster et al., Rauhut and many others
do too. No one's used multistate codings for the cranial extent of the
humeral distal condyles yet, but that character needs a lot of work
Yup...... I know what you are talking about. I read Forester's.
I know that I said I haven't seen many multicharacter state analyses, but when I thought it over and dug through my papers here, I wasn't correct. I have read some with more then 2 states. Some have 3. Some even have 4, but that's extremely rare. The ones with minimal amounts aren't very helpful in seeing the larger scope, and since that's the norm, I forgot about them. And that's basically what I've been getting at. You would think that multiple multicharacter states about certain key features would be done more often. That would be, at least I think anyway, a good way to see where an animal actually fits in the greater scheme of things. You'd really cover all the available bases. I think sometimes we get so caught up with a single character or trait, emphasizing it so much, that the result is one of slapping on tunnel vision goggles that prevent us from taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. It's a double edged sword really, since you have to scrutinize ever! yt! ! hing in order to sort the mess out the best you can..... especially now because of all the great paravian material that keeps coming to light. But, I'm sure you can blame the lack of multicharacter states in analyses dealing with the origin of certain features, those that have more then 2 states or so, because of the lack of good basal material. _Sinovenator_ is a great example of what we need more of these days. I mean, boy did that little guy clear up some questions.
As you said, more work just needs to be done on features like the cranial extent of the humeral distal condyles, and I'm sure this applies to many other characters as well. At this point I'm saying no more. I get the feeling that I am starting to screw with the gods. :-)
Thanks for all the information. It gave me the perspective on things that I was looking for, and it gave me some more references to look up. That's all I wanted.
Thanks a million!