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re: smallest pteros



Quoting david peters <davidrpeters@earthlink.net>:

> I can only repeat: Cladistics is _fundamentally incapable_ of telling you if
> a specimen is adult or not. If you put a definite baby into your matrix, do
> you think PAUP* would spit it out??? Instead it would show up in all trees,
> and there is no guarantee that it would cluster with adults of its own
> species, because, to varying but not easily predictable extents, ontogeny
> recapitulates phylogeny.
>
> dp [show me that a baby 'anything' would show up "in all trees."

How could it not?  If you include a juvenile specimen as one of your OTUs, the
program can't say to itself "Oops, there's a baby in there!" and chuck it out. 
Instead, it will assume that the baby is the same sort of thing as all the other
OTUs and look for the best place for it in the tree--which may or may not be the
same place as for an adult of the same species.

Nick Pharris
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan