- UC Museum of Paleontology
Time: 30-40 minutes
Scientists use many different lines of evidence to reconstruct the evolutionary trees that show how species are related.
This article is located within Evolution 101.
- [History of life: Grades 9-12] Present-day species evolved from earlier species; the relatedness of organisms is the result of common ancestry. (LS4.A)
- [History of life: Grades 9-12] Biological evolution accounts for diversity over long periods of time. (LS4.A, LS4.D)
- [History of life: Grades 9-12] 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.
- [Evidence of evolution: Grades 9-12] Anatomical similarities of living things reflect common ancestry. (LS4.A)
- [Mechanisms of evolution: Grades 9-12] Evolution does not consist of progress in any particular direction.
- [Nature of science: Grades 9-12] Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)
- [Nature of science: Grades 9-12] Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.
- [Studying evolution: Grades 9-12] Scientists use anatomical evidence to infer the relatedness of taxa. (LS4.A)
- [Studying evolution: Grades 9-12] Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.
- [Studying evolution: Grades 9-12] Evolutionary trees (i.e. phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.
- [Studying evolution: Grades 9-12] Evolutionary trees (e.g., phylogenies or cladograms) are built from multiple lines of evidence.
- Disciplinary Core Idea LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
- Disciplinary Core Idea LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
- NOS Matrix understanding category 2. Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence.
- Science and Engineering Practice 6. Constructing explanations and designing solutions
This article provides a comprehensive, general introduction to phylogenetics. It would make a good opening reading for an activity in which students apply phylogenetic concepts to specific data sets, research the relationships within a particular clade, or investigate the tree of life.