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Re: primers

At 7:58 AM +1100 12/2/04, Dann Pigdon wrote:
>I think the real question was; if dogs were only known from fossil
>remains, and DNA (nor interbreeding evidence) wasn't available, would
>their range of variation still lend then to be recognised as a single
>species? Or would the fact that skeletal structure is only a tiny part
>of the variation of a species (and can be altered by relatively minor
>genetic changes) mean that cladistics would produce an over-simplistic
>view of relationships?

The authors of the recent Science paper on the decline of bison populations 
found in their genetic studies that the plains bison and woods bison are 
genetically indistinguishable, although morphologically distinct, so this 
question has broader impact than the artificial diversity created by dog 
breeders. For the bison, I was told that some of the morphological distinction 
may have arisen from response to the local environment (e.g, thickness of 

-- Jeff Hecht