Aves classification and cladistics / Gregory Paul

pierre deleporte pierre.deleporte at UNIV-RENNES1.FR
Mon Sep 16 17:19:58 CDT 2002

More seriously (than my previous post), it would be interesting to check 
this "Aves" example a little bit more. The following comments (in the 
dinoarch list) raise two points : the cladistic method would not be 
involved per se in the "mistake", and a plea for integrating different 

As far as I understand the problem, there is no strong cladistic resolution 
due to a lot of homoplasy, and fossil "transition series" may be interpreted;
also, some homologies may have been overlooked ("hallux" problem), but this 
is not a "cladistic" recommendation at all, just the possible weight of 
received wisdom, as possible in any approach.
These are different questions, and to take just one : I know of "cladists" 
(and just here in Rennes University paleontology dept) who are ready to 
take fossil series ("as read in the rocks") into account when they are 
deemed fairly "complete". This the more when cladistic resolution is 
doubtful or lacking.

Isn't the problem one of integrating complementary approaches, and which to 
be more relied on in cases of contradictions, depending on the relative 
"strength" of historical signal issuing from these complementary approaches 
? And how to assess objectively this relative reliability...

Also : clearly distinguish "cladistics" as phylogeny reconstruction 
(maximum parsimony
methods) from cladistic classification (strict of relaxed...). Seems that 
G. Paul, in this paper, aims at the former, not the latter.


A 19:54 13/09/2002 +0000, Ken Kinman wrote :
Dear All,
    (...) Here's a link to Gregory's post for those who wish
to read it:


            --- Cheers,  Ken Kinman

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Pierre Deleporte
CNRS UMR 6552 - Station Biologique de Paimpont
F-35380 Paimpont   FRANCE
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