In phylogenetics, a data set that consists of a list of taxa and a set of those taxa’s attributes (called characters and character states). Data matrices are used to build evolutionary trees. For example, a data matrix for a beetle phylogeny might consist of a list of beetle species and would specify many traits of those species—how many antennal segments each has, which have spotted wings and which have solid wings, etc. Data matrices can also include the genetic sequence for a particular gene or part of the genome.
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