Access to the dimension of time makes paleontology unique as a discipline, and it is stratigraphical data that allows paleontologists to tackle a wide range of evolutionary questions unanswerable by neontologists. Some of these need only a vague and imprecise hypothesis of evolutionary relationships. For example, considerable headway has been made in documenting the evolution of morphological disparity with only the crudest of phylogenetic information (Foote, 1997). However, it is undoubtedly true that more precise and probing questions can be formulated if accurate phylogenies were available. But how do we construct such phylogenies?

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Trees indicating ancestor-descendent relationships...

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