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RE: Polytomies in cladistics: Good, Bad, or Ugly?



Phil Bigelow wrote-

In cladistics, are polytomies (3 or more branches from one node)
considered to be a valid working hypothesis, or are they instead viewed
as an artefact of a limited data set, weaknesses in the algorithm, or a
bad choice of test parameters?

I'd say they can be considered a working hypothesis in the sense they may indicate rapid speciation events. But especially as the datasets get smaller, they are often indicative of a need for more characters. I'd bet someone's written a technical paper on the topic, probably in Systematic Biology.


Mickey Mortimer