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Integrating fossil and extant lineages: an examination of morphological space through time (Araneae: Archaeidae)
- M. Wood, Hannah
- The Journal of arachnology 2017 v.45 no.1 pp. 20-29
- Araneae, fossils, monophyly, niches
- The integration of fossil and extant lineages in evolutionary analyses allows for morphological change to be examined over long periods of time. This study explores how fossil archaeid species compare with extant species in terms of morphological diversity. By adding additional data for fossil species, this study builds upon the total evidence phylogenetic data matrix and the carapace/chelicerae measurements of an earlier analysis. Phylogenetic analyses recovered a monophyletic Archaeidae crown-group, and there is some support for a monophyletic fossil clade. However, analyses did not recover a monophyletic Archaeidae: the fossil Lacunauchenius Wunderlich, 2008 fell outside of the remaining archaeids, although its placement was only weakly supported. Fossil archaeids are morphologically diverse, and compared to extant species, occupy a novel morphological space characterized by shorter features. There has been a shift through time towards the more elongated features of the extant species. Given the unique morphologies of the fossil species, it is likely that fossil archaeids occupied unique niches that are no longer occupied by extant species.