Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

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A name by any other tree


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Phylogenetics has affected almost every area of biology - even the most basic one: how we classify organisms. Find out how phylogenetic classification works and what its advantages are.
This article appears at SpringerLink.

Evolution: Education and Outreach

Grade level:

35 min

Teaching tips:
This article is written for teachers and comes with links to additional examples, supplementary information, and classroom tips. It is also available as a pdf at http://www.springerlink.com/content/k176638503p63017/fulltext.pdf

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Through billions of years of evolution, life forms have continued to diversify in a branching pattern, from single-celled ancestors to the diversity of life on Earth today.

  • Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry.

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.

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