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Re: flying Archie

At the broadest scales, species
durations seem just as good a measure of "success" as clade size.

I disagree. Species duration depends entirely on the species concept... you have at least 25 to choose from.

Your point is well taken. However, even though using duration is difficult, it is still a good measure in theory. In practice, it will only be viable for some groups and in certain situations. Comparing durations can still be informative (within certain bounds). Comparing clade size is quite informative, as well, but it probably says as much about isolation tendency as it does about mortality reduction or other aspects we might associate with 'success'. I generally do not consider a clade successful simply because that clade is large. Other factors must also be considered.


--Mike H.