Cladistics Illuminate other Sciences

I. The Extant Phylogenetic Bracket: Understanding the distribution of known characters on a cladogram allow us to make inferences about sharacter states in fossil taxa for which the characters, themselves, are not preserved. The strength of that inference depends on the distribution of the characters in two extant (or well known fossil) outgroups to the taxon in question, thus bracketing it. We recognize three general types of inference: