Partitioning the Large Reptile Tree – part 1 – cranial characters only

Short and sweet today.

Bennett (2012) discussed the value of partitioning a family tree into discrete parts (skull, limbs, post-crania, etc.) to help understand the tree as a whole. Here I deleted all the post-cranial traits from the large reptile tree. I also deleted any taxa for which the skull was unknown (otherwise there would be no scores at all for such taxa).

The results (Fig. 1) closely mirror the original large reptile tree.

he large reptile tree, all post-cranial traits deleted.

Figure 1. The large reptile tree, all post-cranial traits deleted. A few taxa without skulls are also deleted. This is one demonstration of partitioning. Tomorrow comes another. Green areas mark loss of resolution. Gray = Reptilia. Orange = new Lepidosauromorpha. Yellow = new Archosauromorpha.

As always, I encourage readers to see specimens, make observations and come to your own conclusions. Test. Test. And test again.

Evidence and support in the form of nexus, pdf and jpeg files will be sent to all who request additional data.

Bennett SC 2012. The phylogenetic position of the Pterosauria within the Archosauromorpha re-examined. Historical Biology. iFirst article, 2012, 1–19.

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