Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Multiple morphological clocks and total-evidence tip-dating in mammals

Citation

Lee, Michael; Lee, Michael S. Y. (2016), Data from: Multiple morphological clocks and total-evidence tip-dating in mammals, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3h4m5

Abstract

Morphological integration predicts that correlated characters will coevolve; thus, each distinct suite of correlated characters might be expected to evolve according to a separate clock or ‘pacemaker’. Characters in a large morphological dataset for mammals were found to be evolving according to seven separate clocks, each distinct from the molecular clock. Total-evidence tip-dating using these multiple clocks inflated divergence time estimates, but potentially improved topological inference. In particular, single-clock analyses placed several meridiungulates and condylarths in a heterodox position as stem placentals, but multi-clock analyses retrieved a more plausible and orthodox position within crown placentals. Several shortcomings (including uneven character sampling) currently impact upon the accuracy of total-evidence dating, but this study suggests that when sufficiently large and appropriately constructed phenotypic datasets become more commonplace, multi-clock approaches are feasible and can affect both divergence dates and phylogenetic relationships.

Usage Notes