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Mar13_Fossils - IB 200A Principals of Phylogenetic...

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IB 200A Principals of Phylogenetic Systematics Spring 2008 Integrating Fossils into Phylogenies Throughout the 20th century, the relationship between paleontology and evolutionary biology has been strained. Two common answers are: (1) the two fields have fundamentally different aims, and (2) the tensions arise out of disciplinary squabbles for funding and prestige. Principal differences between neontology and paleobiology Neontological evolutionary Evolutionary paleobiology biology Focus of study Living organisms Fossil remains of organisms Temporal Shorter term: Typically longer term: perspective 10 2 – 10 3 years 10 3 – 10 7 years Theory Models of natural selection and Relies on broader neo-darwinian Speciation, generally articulated theory; rarely uses population in terms of population or genetic theory. Some distinctively quantitative genetics paleobiological theory (e.g., taphonomy) Methods Greater emphasis on Less emphasis on experiments experiments Data Emphasizes genetic data Extremely limited access to and population structure genetic data and population structure John Maynard Smith (1920-2004) – British evolutionary biologist and geneticist; evolution of sex, game theory in evolution, and signaling theory. Smith, J. M. (1984). ""Paleontology at the high table.". Nature 309 (5967): 401-402.° Hennig – Character phylogeny (polarity). “Criterion of geological character precedence. If in a a monophyletic group a particular character condition occurs only in older fossils, and another only in younger fossils, then obviously the former is pleisomorphous and the latter the apomorphous condition.” Hennig goes on to discuss paleontological methods of phylogenetic systematics.
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During much of the 19th and 20th centuries, palaeontology was often considered as fundamental for understanding relationships amongst extant taxa. . . . Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the advent of cladistics, the supremacy of fossils in phylogentic reconstruction was forcefully and successfully challenged. Colin Patterson (1981): (1) The distribution of traits among extinct taxa could be used to estimate sister group relationships, but the incompleteness of fossils makes fossils inherently less informative than extant taxa. In addition he argues that in practice.
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