New morphological dataset spanning all key arthropod taxa
The first detailed study of fossil pycnogonid morphology will be conducted using cutting edge computed tomography. The EU-funded PhyloPycno project will generate a new morphological dataset spanning all key arthropod taxa. Including insects and centipedes, arthropods comprise most of the animal biodiversity and include model organisms like the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. While Arthropods are a key model system for macroevolution, our understanding of arthropod evolution remains incomplete. The project will test hypotheses of chelicerate and arthropod relationships. With a focus on sea spiders, it will also check the origin and diversification rate of the highly divergent Pycnogonida and estimate an evolutionary timescale for Pycnogonida and Chelicerata.