Cladistics and Cladograms

Cladistics and Cladograms - The giant panda was once...

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Cladistics and Cladograms Cladistic Classification The example used above, if treated cladistically, would produce a very different classification! Note that crocodiles have more in common (in a cladistic sense) with birds than they do with other reptiles. Birds and crocs form a clade, or monophyletic group united by shared derived characters not present in the other groups. If we construct a Linnean group from this cladogram, we have a class of birds and crocodiles, a second class of lizards, snakes, and turtles, and a third class of mammals, as shown in Figure 6. One of the more interesting applications of cladistics is to the question of the pandas.
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Unformatted text preview: The giant panda was once thought to be a bear, but later its racoon-like characters caused it to be placed closer to racoons. The red (lesser) panda lives in the same areas of China as the giant panda, but has a far greater similarity with racoons, as shown in Figure 7. DNA hybridization studies suggest the giant panda is in the bear clade, while the red panda is in the racoon clade. Both share a common ancestry, as indicated by shared derived characters, followed by convergent evolution of other characters. The diagram above indicates this divergence from common ancestry, and even attempts to show the time of that divergence....
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