Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Constraints on clade ages from fossil outgroups

  • Matthew M. Hedman (a1)

Abstract

This paper presents a method for constraining the age of a clade with the ages of the earliest fossil specimens in that clade's outgroups. Given a sufficiently deep, robust, well-resolved, and stratigraphically consistent cladogram, this method can yield useful age constraints even in the absence of specific information about the fossil preservation and recovery rates of individual taxa. The algorithm is applied to simulated data sets to demonstrate that this method can yield robust constraints of clade ages if there are sufficient fossil outgroups available and if there is a finite chance that additional outgroups may be discovered in the future. Finally, the technique is applied to actual fossil data to explore the origin of modern placental mammals. Using data from recently published cladograms, this method indicates that if all Mesozoic eutherians are regarded as outgroups of Placentalia, then the last common ancestor of modern placental mammals and their Cenozoic allies lived between 65 and 88–98 million years ago, depending on the assumed cladogram and the number of outgroups included in the analysis.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Archibald, J. D. 2003. Timing and biogeography of the eutherian radiation: fossils and molecules compared. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 28:3503009.
Archibald, J. D., and Deutschman, D. H. 2001. Quantitative analysis of the timing of the origination and diversification of extant placental orders. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 8:107124.
Archibald, J. D., Averianov, A. O., and Ekdale, E. G. 2001. Late Cretaceous relatives of rabbits, rodents and other extant eutherian mammals. Nature 414:6265.
Fisher, D. C., 2008. Stratocladistics: integrating temporal data and character data in phylogenetic inference. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 39:365385.
Foote, M. 1997. Estimating taxonomic durations and preservation probability. Paleobiology 23:278300.
Foote, M. 2001. Inferring temporal patterns of preservation, origination and extinction from taxonomic survivorship analysis. Paleobiology 27:602630.
Foote, M., Hunter, J. P., Janis, C. M., and Sepkoski, J. J. Jr. 1999. Evolutionary and preservational constraints on origins of biotic groups: divergence times of eutherian mammals. Science 283:13101314.
Huelsenbeck, J. P., and Rannala, B. 1997. Maximum likelihood estimate of phylogeny using stratigraphic data. Paleobiology 23:174180.
Huelsenbeck, J. P., Ronquist, F., Nielsen, R., and Bollback, J. P. 2001. Bayesian inference of phylogeny and its impact on evolutionary biology. Science 294:23102314.
Ji, Q., Luo, Z-X., Yuan, C-X., Wible, J. R., Zhang, J-P., and Georgi, J. A. 2002. The earliest known eutherian mammal. Nature 416:816822.
Kielan-Jaworowska, Z., Cifelli, R. J., and Luo, Z-X. 2004. Mammals from the age of dinosaurs. Columbia University Press, New York.
Lupton, R. 1993. Statistics in theory and practice. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.
Marshall, C. A. 2008. A simple method for bracketing absolute divergence times on molecular phylogenies using multiple fossil calibration points. American Naturalist 171:726742.
Marshall, C. A. 1997. Confidence intervals on stratigraphic ranges with nonrandom distributions of fossil horizons. Paleobiology 23:165173.
Norell, M. A. 1993. Tree-based approaches to understanding history: comments on ranks, rules and the quality of the fossil record. American Journal of Science 293A:407417.
Rose, K. D., and Archibald, J. D. 2005. The rise of placental mammals. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
Ruta, M., Wagner, P. J., and Coates, M. I. 2006. Evolution patterns in early tetrapods. I. Rapid initial diversification followed by decrease in rates of character change. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 273:21072111.
Solow, A. R., and Smith, W. 1997. On fossil preservation and the stratigraphic ranges of taxa. Paleobiology 23:271277.
Springer, M. S., Murphy, W. J., Eizirik, E., and O'Brien, S. J. 2003. Placental mammal diversification and the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100:10561061.
Strauss, D., and Sadler, P. M. 1989. Classical confidence intervals and Bayesian probability estimates for ends of local taxon ranges. Mathematical Geology 21:411427.
Tavare, S., Marshall, C. R., Will, O., Soligo, C., and Martin, R. D. 2002. Using the fossil record to estimate the age of the last common ancestor of extant primates. Nature 416:726729.
Wagner, P. J. 1995. Stratigraphic tests of cladistic hypotheses. Paleobiology 21:153178.
Wagner, P. J. 2000. Likelihood tests of hypothesized durations: determining and accommodating biasing factors. Paleobiology 26:431449.
Wible, J. R., Rougier, G. W., Novacek, M. J., and Asher, R. J. 2007. Cretaceous eutherians and Laurasian origin for placental mammals near the K/T boundary. Nature 447:10031006.

Constraints on clade ages from fossil outgroups

  • Matthew M. Hedman (a1)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed