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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Traditional views of eumalacostracan phylogeny are not in accord with current understanding of the fossil record. Another approach results from identification of basic morphotypes upon which radiations were built in the course of eumalacostracan history. Random association of characters (absence or varying conditions of the carapace, biramous or uniramous thoracopods, and presence or absence of subthoracic brood pouch of some form) yields an array of 16 morphotypes, of which 10 are recognized in the fossil and Recent record. The resultant "paper animals" combined with an analysis by cladistic methods yield six possible phenograms of eumalacostracan phylogeny. An evolutionary uncertainty principle precludes definitive choice among these patterns to produce a cladogram and taxonomy. However, a taxonomic system is advocated with the subjectivity associated with uncertainty clearly acknowledged.

Affiliations: 1: San Diego Natural History Museum, P.O. Box 1390, San Diego. California 92112


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