Using the tree for classification
Biologists use phylogenetic trees for many purposes, including:
Using phylogenies as a basis for classification is a relatively new development in biology.
Most of us are accustomed to the Linnaean system of classification that assigns every organism a kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species, which, among other possibilities, has the handy mnemonic King Philip Came Over For Good Soup. This system was created long before scientists understood that organisms evolved. Because the Linnaean system is not based on evolution, most biologists are switching to a classification system that reflects the organisms' evolutionary history.
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