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Regional Phylogenetic Analysis of the Myology of Primates and Correlates in the Human Skeleton Open Access

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Morphological studies of hard tissue are the only available method with which to examine phylogenetic relationships among fossil taxa. Diogo and Wood (2011) demonstrated the value of myological data for use in phylogenetics within primates. The goal of this work is to elucidate how useful examination of soft tissue characters can be to the study of human origins. This was a two-fold project. First, because of the fragmentary fossil record, the characters defined by Diogo and Wood (2011) were sorted by body region and used in cladistic analyses to search for body regions of better use for phylogenetics. The cranial region provides the most accurate reconstructions, as well as the most efficient analysis in terms of characters required for accurate reconstruction. A macroscopic recovery effort of the characters through bony correlates was then attempted, which effectively recovered 23 of these characters.

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