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Systematics and reconstructing Phylogeny.docx

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BIOL 103
Peter T Boag

Systematics and reconstructing Phylogeny - Systematics o Scientific study of the diversity of organisms and their evolutionary relationships and origins - Taxonomy = practical side of systematics o Naming, describing, classifying organisms o Group at any level = taxon, plural = taxa - Classification o Grouping organisms by their similarities (e.g. phonetics) or relationships in a system which today are based on sound evolutionary principles - Why classify organisms? o Classifications arrange organisms into groups based on similarity (phenotypic = phonetic & evolutionary), with the goal of revealing historical relationships o Classification systems explain relationships among things, aid our memory and record-keeping, and provide unique, universal names for organisms o ‘dead’ languages such as Latin used for names = stability and international usage - Binomial nomenclature o Genus + specific epithet (species name)  Homo sapiens  Quercus alba o Linnaeus designed system used today in 1735, before Darwin and evolution by natural selection known o Facilitates international science o Note: above species, classification levels are ‘artificial’, and vary with organism type o DNA similarities potentially more natural, but still likely to vary greatly between taxa - Hierarchical Classification of Species o Swedish botanist Linnaeus developed the hierarchical ‘Linnaean’ system of classification; species grouped into higher-level units: Genus, Family, Order, Class, Phylum, Kingdom, Domain o At higher levels, broader range of variation evident, along with fewer shared traits common to all members - Evolutionary Phylogeny o Evolutionary history of group of organisms derived from a common ancestor o Classification ultimately based on common ancestry o Traditionally ba
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