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Legendre, L, Le Roy, N, Martinez-Maza, C, Montes, L, Laurin, M & Cubo, J. (2012). Phylogenetic signal in bone histology of amniotes revisited. —Zoologica Scripta, 42, 44–53.

There is currently a debate about the presence of a phylogenetic signal in bone histological data, but very few rigorous tests have fuelled the discussions on this topic. Here, we performed new analyses using a larger set of seven histological traits and including 25 taxa (nine extinct and 16 extant taxa), using three methods: the phylogenetic eigenvector regression, the tree length distribution and the regressions on distance matrices. Our results clearly show that the phylogenetic signal in our sample of bone histological characters is strong, even after correcting for multiple testing. Most characters exhibit a significant phylogenetic signal according to at least one of our three tests, with the phylogeny often explaining 20–60% of the variation in the histological characters. Thus, we conclude that the phylogenetic comparative method should be systematically used in interspecific analyses of bone histodiversity to avoid problems of non-independence among observations.