Code your Characters Carefully and Correctly – #365papers – 2017 – 26

#365papers for January 26, 2017

Fox, 2016, The status of Schowalteria clemensi, the Late Cretaceous taeniodont (Mammalia): Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 36, e1211666.

What’s it about?

This paper discusses the relationship of the Cretaceous taeniodont (a fossil mammal), Schowalteria clemensi, to other taeniodonts. In particular, this paper goes into detail about how one study got the relationship of this species to the others all wrong.

Why does it matter?

This demonstrates why it’s very important to carefully define the characteristics you use to distinguish one species from another and is cautionary about lumping species together.

Why did I read this?

I thought this might be a good paper to read for my paleontology class when we start talking about how we determine the relationships among modern and fossil organisms. I may yet use this. Not sure.

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