systematics prelab - reptiles 6 The giant panda was...

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Pre-lab Systematics 1. Taxonomy is that branch of biology dealing with the identification and naming of organisms. 2. Linnaeus classified birds, mammals, and reptiles as separate groups because mammals have hair, birds have feathers, and reptiles have scales. 3. A primitive character is a characteristic found in a common ancestor of multiple groups that is also found in all of the modern groups. A primitive character found in birds, mammals, and reptiles is that they all have an amniotic egg. 4. A derived character is a characteristic found only in one of the groups which comes out of the common ancestor. Hair in mammals and feathers in birds are two examples of derived characters. 5. Cladists group organisms based on shared derived characteristics and not the overall similarity between group members. The amniotic egg would be used to group birds, mammals, and reptiles as having a common ancestor, but mammals and birds having hair and feathers would not be used to separate them from
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Unformatted text preview: reptiles. 6. The giant panda was formerly thought to be a bear, but was also recognized as having very raccoon like characteristics. DNA hybridization has suggested that the giant panda and the red panda both share a common ancestor, but that the giant panda is still a bear and the red panda in the raccoon clade. 7. DNA is the material which encodes for living organisms. Changes in DNA over millions of years have caused differences between different castes of organisms. DNA started with tiny, single-celled organisms and, through mutations, has organisms to differ from each other ever so slightly. Over millions of years those changes have turned into major diversity among living species. Changes in DNA account for that diversity. And, while differences in DNA are what account for the differences between living organisms, it is also the one thing which unites all of the organisms living on Earth....
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