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Keywords:

  • primate phylogeny;
  • comparative method;
  • Bayesian phylogenetics;
  • phylogenetic uncertainty

Abstract

The comparative method plays a central role in efforts to uncover the adaptive basis for primate behaviors, morphological traits, and cognitive abilities.1–4 The comparative method has been used, for example, to infer that living in a larger group selects for a larger neocortex,5, 6 that primate territoriality favors a longer day range relative to home range size,7 and that sperm competition can account for the evolution of primate testes size.8, 9 Comparison is fundamental for reconstructing behavioral traits in the fossil record, for example, in studies of locomotion and diet.10–13 Recent advances in comparative methods require phylogenetic information,2, 14–16 but our knowledge of phylogenetic information is imperfect. In the face of uncertainty about evolutionary relationships, which phylogeny should one use? Here we provide a new resource for comparative studies of primates that enables users to run comparative analyses on multiple primate phylogenies Importantly, the 10,000 trees that we provide are not random, but instead use recent systematic methods to create a plausible set of topologies that reflect our certainty about some nodes on the tree and uncertainty about other nodes, given the dataset. The trees also reflect uncertainty about branch lengths.