Introduction to Phylogenetic Trees

Read and analyze a phylogenetic tree that documents evolutionary relationships

In scientific terms, the evolutionary history and relationship of an organism or group of organisms is called phylogeny. Phylogeny describes the relationships of an organism, such as from which organisms it is thought to have evolved, to which species it is most closely related, and so forth. Phylogenetic relationships provide information on shared ancestry but not necessarily on how organisms are similar or different.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Identify how and why scientists classify the organisms on earth
  • Differentiate between types of phylogenetic trees and what their structure tells us
  • Identify some limitations of phylogenetic trees
  • Relate the taxonomic classification system and binomial nomenclature

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Scientific Classification
  • Structure of a Phylogenetic Tree
  • Limitation of Phylogenetic Trees
  • The Taxonomic Classification System
  • Self Check: Phylogenetic Trees


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