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The assassination of a hypothesis by non-critical interpretation of molecular data: A comment on Sharma et al. (2017)
- Machado, Glauco, Wolff, Jonas O.
- Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 2018 v.129 pp. 346-348
- Araneae, Opiliones, eggs, legs, males
- In a recent paper, Sharma et al. (2017) tested the hypothesis that eggs attached to males' legs in podoctid harvestmen are laid by conspecifics. Using molecular methods, they falsify the “paternal care hypothesis” and suggest that the eggs belong to spiders. Here we raise several criticisms to the authenticity of this finding and present arguments supporting the hypothesis that eggs belong to harvestmen and are not accidentally attached to the males. We argue that the falsification of the paternal care hypothesis in podoctids is premature and based on non-critical interpretation of molecular data.