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Re: What Wiens 2003 has to say
Futhermore, I think we all agree upon "more is better." So if the first
study has a dozen taxa. The second should have more to be better, right?
Or more characters. Or both. In fact, if it has more taxa but not more, or
only slightly more, characters, it may be farther from reality than the
A good cladogram, one that is 'one' with Nature, should be able to hold
up with the addition of taxa and characters.
Yes. See why we all insist that you include all previously used characters,
except where you can give a good reason for excluding them?
Prior work (some 39
cladograms of various slices of the Diapsida) have at most 54 taxa
(Evans 1988). The next highest taxon number is 33 and it falls quickly
into the 20s and teens for most work. This should be far too few in
There's in any case a lot of room for improvement left.
Funny also that, as scientists, no one on the DML has been curious
enough to ask to see the data, the results, or the figures.
Well, we thought you wanted to publish it (as you originally wanted with
your pterosaur matrix <headache>), so we figured it was embargoed and there
was no point in asking. Besides, reading a character matrix takes time --
time that I now have (so please do send me the matrix and the tree! :-) ),
but didn't have before yesterday (...when I had no Internet connection).
PS. I realize that larger and gigantic studies are being made of
Dinosauria, Aves and Crocodylomorpha, but these are, in the scheme of
this discussion, small dusty corners of a larger house that we're trying
to understand the basement and blueprints for.
True, but of course this doesn't mean you'd need fewer characters. :^)