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Re: Mr. Magorium's PDF Emporium



Incorrect character scorings in that analysis
notwithstanding, it is concluded that in the case of
morphological data, increased character sampling does
not necessarily better the accuracy of a
phylogenetic reconstruction. Because morphological
characters usually have a strongly varying complexity,
many simple and homoplastic characters may overrule
fewer ones of greater phylogenetic signi[fi]cance
in large data sets, thus producing a low ratio of
phylogenetic signal to "noise" in the data.

Well, either that, or the number of fossils in the analysis is simply too small.


The number of correlated characters might be too high, too. After all, several hundred of the 2954 characters are not parsimony-informative, so Livezey & Zusi apparently didn't exactly look hard for characters to throw out of their matrix.