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Some of the most basic questions about the history of life concern evolutionary trends. These include determining whether or not metazoans have become more complex over time, whether or not body size tends to increase over time (the Cope–Depéret rule), or whether or not brain size has...
Phylogenetic trees often depart from the expectations of stochastic models, exhibiting imbalance in diversification among lineages and slowdowns in the rate of lineage accumulation through time. Such departures have led to a widespread perception that ecological differences among species or...
Traditionally, patterns and processes of diversification could only be inferred from the fossil record. However, there are an increasing number of tools that enable diversification dynamics to be inferred from molecular phylogenies. The application of these tools to new data sets has renewed...
Molecular data offer great potential to resolve the phylogeny of living taxa but can molecular data improve our understanding of relationships of fossil taxa? Simulations suggest that this is possible, but few empirical examples have demonstrated the ability of molecular data to change the...
Quantitative traits have long been hypothesized to affect speciation and extinction rates. For example, smaller body size or increased specialization may be associated with increased rates of diversification. Here, I present a phylogenetic likelihood-based method (quantitative state speciation...
Rates of phenotypic evolution derive from numerous interrelated processes acting at varying spatial and temporal scales and frequently differ substantially among lineages. Although current models employed in reconstructing ancestral character states permit independent rates for distinct types of...
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