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Re: Thoughts on the biggest morphological bird analysis
David Marjanovic wrote:
If we hold Livezey and Zusi's analysis to the same standards as huge
molecular analyses in regards to support (say 95% bootstrap liklihood)
That's too strict. Bootstrap is well known to produce too low support
values, just like how Bayesian posterior probabilities are generally too
high (they always tend to be 100 % even for rather obvious cases of
long-branch attraction -- Zhang et al. 2005 Systematic Biology).
Very true. I've seen molecular phylogenetic analyses produce 100% posterior
probabilities for alternate topologies using different genes from the same
That's another case of convergence, I bet. Adding *Palaeotis* and
*Diogenornis* should be interesting.
I'd like to see how an analysis deals with all those large flightless taxa -
dromornithids, dinornithids, diatrymids, phorusrhacids, etc... How tempted
is the analysis to pull all these taxa together based on shared traits that
result from loss of flight and/or obligate terrestrial locomotion? I'm
guessing the analysis won't be fooled.
It goes without saying that the ICZN mandates the deletion of the hyphen.
I'm not excusing this practice, but ornithology has a long history of
hyphenated taxon names (e.g., Laro-Limicolae).
What this says to me is that the relationships of major neoavian taxa may
forever beyond morphological resolution if only recent taxa are included.
You could well be right.
For sure. Imagine trying to reconstruct the phylogeny of nonavian dinosaurs
based only on Maastrichtian taxa!
Fossils are the morphologist's only hope at combating such detailed
We know how Mayr will spend the rest of this year... :-)
The Messel birds could be very helpful, yes.
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