The use of living species to help infer or constrain specific characters in an extinct species is not a new thing, but Professor Larry Witmer gave this a name in 1995...the Extant Phylogenetic Bracket or EPB for short. Larry gave a name to something we already used, and in doing so penned a paper that will continue to receive citations (references within other published works) that will help it rocket into inter-steller levels of fame. Its hard to pick up a book or read a paper on dinosaurs without seeing EPB (Witmer, 1995) being quoted...even Larry agrees this is a rather useful paper in his career.
|Basic family tree of the dinosaurs and birds....often subject to change!|
|Amber can often trap beasties, providing excellent preservation |
environments...sadly not big enough for dinosaurs!
|Dissection of crocs and birds can often tell us much |
about their relatives, the dinosaurs.