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Re: No Cretaceous placental mammals?
Turns out there's an upcoming paper which studies
precisely the issue discussed here (in birds):
Simon Y. M. Ho
Calibrating molecular estimates of substitution rates
and divergence times in birds
Journal of Avian Biology (OnlineEarly Articles).
This is probably gonna be one of those papers that
will get cited far less often than it should be, but
that I'll ever so often point to (not necessarily on
this list though) ;-) I'll try to get it the next days
and I'll be highly interested to learn what (if any -
might be very theoretical) examples he rolls out. "For
example, the ‘traditional’ avian
mitochondrial substitution rate of 2% per million
years is frequently adopted without acknowledgement of
the associated uncertainty" should be good for one or
two cases in point (the rate does not hold true e.g.
for most if not all Procellariiformes, there's
something seriously wrong with mol-clocking ratites
but nobody really knows what it is, etc).
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