Study reveals evolution of crab group Thoracotremata

Thoracotremata (Brachyura, Decapoda) is the most derived crab group, encompassing 1,248 extant species. It currently comprises four superfamilies: Grapsoidea MacLeay, Ocypodoidea Rafinesque, Cryptochiroidea Paulson and Pinnotheroidea ...

A brief history of the cabbage butterfly's evolving tastes

The cabbage butterfly, voracious as a caterpillar, is every gardener's menace. Turns out, these lovely white or sulfur yellow butterflies started trying to take over the planet millions of years before humans ever set foot ...

Researchers describe three new species of fruit flies

Acanthiophilus is a genus of fruit flies that infest plants of the tribe Cardueae (thistles) within the family Asteraceae. Members of this genus live in Africa, the Canary Islands, Europe, and Asia. Some species of Acanthiophilus ...

The eloquence of the otoliths

Fish fossils that are about 23 million years old give unprecedented insight into the evolutionary history of the gobioid order, one of the most species-rich groups among the modern bony fishes.

A new computational method for timing the tree of life

With its deeply embedded roots, sturdy trunk and dense profusion of branches, the Tree of Life is a structure of nearly unfathomable complexity and beauty. While major strides have been made to establish the evolutionary ...

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In biology, phylogenetics (pronounced /faɪlɵdʒɪˈnɛtɪks/) is the study of evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms (e.g. species, populations), which is discovered through molecular sequencing data and morphological data matrices. The term phylogenetics derives from the Greek terms phyle (φυλή) and phylon (φῦλον), denoting “tribe” and “race”; and the term genetikos (γενετικός), denoting “relative to birth”, from genesis (γένεσις) “birth”.

Taxonomy, the classification, identification, and naming of organisms, is richly informed by phylogenetics, but remains methodologically and logically distinct. The fields of phylogenetics and taxonomy overlap in the science of phylogenetic systematics — one methodology, cladism (also cladistics) shared derived characters (synapomorphies) used to create ancestor-descendant trees (cladograms) and delimit taxa (clades). In biological systematics as a whole, phylogenetic analyses have become essential in researching the evolutionary tree of life.

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