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    Phylogenetic position of Diania challenged

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    Liu et al.1 describe a new and remarkable fossil, Diania cactiformis. This animal apparently combined the soft trunk of lobopodians (a group including the extant velvet worms in addition to many Palaeozoic genera) with the jointed limbs that typify arthropods. They go on to promote Diania as the immediate sister group to the arthropods, and conjecture that sclerotized and jointed limbs may therefore have evolved before articulated trunk tergites in the immediate arthropod stem. The data published by Liu et al.1 do not un-ambiguously support these conclusions; rather, we believe that Diania probably belongs within an unresolved clade or paraphyletic grade of lobopodians.

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    Description

    Title : Phylogenetic position of Diania challenged
    Author(s) : Ross C. P. Mounce, Matthew A. Wills
    Abstract : Liu et al.1 describe a new and remarkable fossil, Diania cactiformis. This animal apparently combined the soft trunk of lobopodians (a group including the extant velvet worms in addition to many Palaeozoic genera) with the jointed limbs that typify arthropods. They go on to promote Diania as the immediate sister group to the arthropods, and conjecture that sclerotized and jointed limbs may therefore have evolved before articulated trunk tergites in the immediate arthropod stem. The data published by Liu et al.1 do not un-ambiguously support these conclusions; rather, we believe that Diania probably belongs within an unresolved clade or paraphyletic grade of lobopodians.
    Keywords : animals, arthropods, arthropods classification, fossils, phylogeny, pseudopodia, pseudopodia classification, reproducibility results

    Subject : Phylogenetics
    Area : Other
    Language : English
    Year : 2011

    Affiliations University of Bath
    Journal : Nature
    Volume : 476
    Issue : 7359
    Publisher : Nature Publishing Group
    Pages : E1 - E1
    Doi : 10.1038/nature10266
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    Ross's Peer Evaluation activity

    Trusted by 2
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    Following... 19

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