The role of morphology in evolutionary research
Stefan Richter, Allgemeine und Spezielle Zoologie, Universität Rostock, Germany
Morphology is mostly understood as the structure, form and pattern of organisms, something organisms are characterized by, often used in the alternatives morphological versus molecular data. Primarily, however, morphology is a discipline in biology. Although morphology is often believed to be restricted to the description of structures, or described as a 'purely formal' discipline (Ghiselin 2006), morphology is in fact the science of form and structure and includes analytical and synthetic processes for explaining them (sensu Riedl 2000). Herein, we elaborate the various aspects of morphology as a discipline, showing that morphology is a biological discipline in its own right.