Introduction to Phylogenetics

Introduction to Phylogenetics - important powerful and...

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Introduction to Phylogenetics escent from a common ancestor entails a process of branching and divergence of species, in common with any genealogical process. Genealogies can be graphically illustrated by tree-like diagrams, and this is why you will hear biologists refer to the genealogy of species as the "tree of life". Diagrams such as these are known as phylogenetic trees or phylogenies. The consensus model which evolutionary biologists use to represent the well-supported branches of the universal tree of life I will refer to as the "standard phylogenetic tree". Figure 1 shows a simplified example of some of the more familiar branches of the universal phylogenetic tree. The macroevolutionary prediction of a unique, historical universal phylogenetic tree is the most
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Unformatted text preview: important, powerful, and basic conclusion from the hypothesis of universal common descent. A thorough grasp of this concept is necessary for understanding macroevolutionary deductions. In the following section is a brief overview of phylogenetic trees and of how biologists determine them. This overview becomes increasingly technical as it proceeds. The material up until the maximum parsimony heading is essential for understanding the rest of this FAQ. The remaining phylogenetic discussion is given for completeness and to allow the interested reader the opportunity to delve as far as is desired. Figure 1. The Consensus Phylogenetic Tree of All Life ....
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Introduction to Phylogenetics - important powerful and...

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