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Systematists often attempt to avoid the problem of correlated characters by establishing an arbitrary number of variables that must be significant before groups are considered distinct. The appropriateness of this approach has not been evaluated empirically in the biological literature. We analyzed morphometric data for 27 species of bats from the Brazilian Northeast. Twenty-two mensural characters (12 cranial, 10 external) were analyzed for interlocality and secondary sexual variation in eachdoi:10.2307/2413430 fatcat:nkj3vn572bgp3hkx35gom3n5ny