Rodent Macromolecular Systematics
Protein and nucleic acid data have a limited though vital role in the development of an understanding of the systematics of a group. They have the potential of providing, independent of any other information, the cladistic and temporal dimensions of the phylogeny of that group. I do not think it overstates the case to argue that until we have the cladistics we, for all practical purposes, really have nothing at all. The branching pattern forms the necessary framework upon which to properly assess the meaning of the evidence gleaned from other areas of research. Once the branching order has been worked out, and if there is a significant body of fossil data to integrate into our understanding of the group, we can attempt to provide a time estimate for each node or branch point.
KeywordsFossil Record Molecular Clock Adaptive Radiation Actual History Continental Drift
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