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TNT, the new PAUP?



A new parsimony program was just released, one that seems superior to PAUP
in a few important ways.  It's called TNT (Tree analysis using New
Technology), made by Goloboff, Farris and Nixon.  The main selling point of
the program is the fact it has new methods to find most parsimonious trees
in large datasets, cutting down runtime from weeks to hours.  Needless to
say, this sounds great for my coelurosaur analysis, which is looking to
break 1000 characters (455 so far) and 200 taxa (172 so far).  In addition,
TNT allows step matrices to be made very intuitively, and graphical tree
manipulation.  The entire program seems more user friendly than PAUP, using
a Windows-like interface.  The aspect of TNT I'm most excited about however,
is the possibility of using continuously varying characters, with up to
50000 states.  So I can just enter the actual ratios of radius/humerus, or
the actual number of dentary teeth, without any need to specify arbitrary
subjective states.  The only drawback is that it doesn't accept complex
NEXUS files, so transferring my matrix to the program might prove time
consuming.

TNT can be downloaded free from http://www.zmuc.dk/public/phylogeny/TNT/

A review was published recently-
Hovencamp, 2004. Review of: T.N.T.Tree Analysis Using New Technology.
Version 1.0, by P. Goloboff, J. S. Farris and K. Nixon. Available from the
authors and from http://www.zmuc.dk/public/phylogeny. Cladistics. 20(4),
378-383.

Mickey Mortimer
Undergraduate, Earth and Space Sciences
University of Washington
The Theropod Database - http://students.washington.edu/eoraptor/Home.html
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