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A new study by Fraser et al (2018) urges the use of phylogenetic comparative methods, whenever possible, in analyses of mammalian tooth wear. We are concerned about this for two reasons. First, this recommendation may mislead the research community into thinking that phylogenetic signal is an artifact of some sort rather than a fundamental outcome of the evolutionary process. Secondly, this recommendation may set a precedent for editors and reviewers to enforce phylogenetic adjustment where it may unnecessarily weaken or even directionally alter the results, shifting the emphasis of analysis from common patterns manifested by large clades to rare cases.

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Originally published in Ecology and Evolution, 8(22), 11359-11362. The original material can be found here.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.