Abstract

A set of 127 binary and multistate characters, weighted by the number of derived character states, degree of covariation, and level of homoplasy, was used in a cladistic analysis of type species representing 12 genera previously assigned to families Monticuliporidae and Mesotrypidae. The most parsimonious tree consisted of a 10-genus monophyletic crown group with the remaining two genera forming a basal paraphyletic stem group. The composition of the monticuliporid crown group is broadly similar to two earlier classifications while stem group membership matches the family Mesotrypidae. Phenetic groupings, based on overall morphological similarity, have memberships that are similar to those of clades but provide no means of determining the polarity of evolutionary relationships either within or between them. Finally, only the observed stratigraphic ranges of the type species of genera provide a statistically significant match with cladistic branching sequence, perhaps because current composite generic ranges reflect the mixing of species belonging to different genera. Based on cladogram topology, we propose the placement of all 12 genera into a single family Monticuliporidae.

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