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George Gaylord Simpson famously postulated that much of life's diversity originated as adaptive radiations-more or less simultaneous divergences of numerous lines from a single ancestral adaptive type. However, identifying adaptive radiations has proven difficult due to a lack of broad-scale comparative datasets. Here, we use phylogenetic comparative data(More)
Understanding how and why certain clades diversify greatly in morphology whereas others do not remains a major theme in evolutionary biology. Projecting families of phylogenies into multivariate morphospaces can distinguish two scenarios potentially leading to unequal morphological diversification: unequal magnitude of change per phylogenetic branch, and(More)
Several evolutionary theories predict that rates of morphological change should be positively associated with the rate at which new species arise. For example, the theory of punctuated equilibrium proposes that phenotypic change typically occurs in rapid bursts associated with speciation events. However, recent phylogenetic studies have found little(More)
Synthetic science promises an unparalleled ability to find new meaning in old data, extant results, or previously unconnected methods and concepts, but pursuing synthesis can be a difficult and risky endeavor. Our experience as biologists, informaticians, and educators at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center has affirmed that synthesis can yield major(More)
This study develops the random phylogenies rate test (RAPRATE), a likelihood method that simulates morphological evolution along randomly generated phylogenies, and uses it to determine whether a considerable difference in morphological diversity between two sister clades of South American fishes should be taken as evidence of differing rates of(More)
Innovations in locomotor morphology have been invoked as important drivers of vertebrate diversification, although the influence of novel locomotion strategies on marine fish diversification remains largely unexplored. Using triggerfish as a case study, we determine whether the evolution of the distinctive synchronization of enlarged dorsal and anal fins(More)
Scientists rarely reuse expert knowledge of phylogeny, in spite of years ofeffort to assemble a great “Tree of Life” (ToL). A notableexception involves the use of Phylomatic, which provides tools togenerate custom phylogenies from a large, pre-computed, expert phylogeny ofplant taxa. This suggests great potential for a more generalized systemthat, starting(More)
We examined the shapes and sizes of dermal bones of the palate of selected Palaeozoic tetrapods in order to identify the ancestral states of palatal bone morphologies in the earliest tetrapods, to learn how the composition of the palate varies within and among early tetrapod radiations, and to recognize evolutionary correlations among the size and shapes of(More)
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