[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Dilophosaurus

> What I like of the definitions of Avepoda and some other Paulian
> names in "Dinosaurs of the Air" (2002) is the use of of
> apomorphy+clade-based taxon names. As long as the problem of
> apomorphy-based names was the possibility of convergence (and to
> what clade acquiring the feature the name goes), this was
> explicitly prevented in apomorphy+clade-based names. These seem to
> have great use, overall if the clade used is a LITU (is it right to
> call "clade" to a leaf?).

 Clades can be terminal, yes. A clade is just an ancestor and all of
 its descendants. If a taxonomic unit has no descendants, then it is
 itself a clade.

I'd go so far as to say that the term "leaf" shouldn't be used at all when talking about phylogenetic "trees". It simply takes the metaphor too far. It implies a difference between "branches" and "leaves" that simply isn't there.

You can talk about clades all the way to the level of individuals -- no, to the level of cells. Every cancer metastasis is a clade, for instance.

Sometimes I think that a fungal mycelium is a better metaphor for phylogeny than a tree.