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Lecture 8

lecture 8

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Western University
Biology 3466B
Yolanda Morbey

Hand out 8: phylogenetics II  Origins of the whale o Morphological and molecular traits each have advantages and disadvantages as data for inferring evolutionary relationships The alternative hypotheses o Are whales hoofed animals?  The presence of a pulley-shaped astralagus argues that hippos and whales are not closely related because today’s whales don’t have an astragalus.  A) is the preferred tree as it takes one less evolutionary step. Artiodactyla hypothesis: whales are related to the ungulates, possibly as the sister group to the artiodactyls  B) takes one more step. Whale+ hippo 5 hypothesis: whales are the sister group to the 10/2/2012 hippo.  Whales have no ankles so the shape of the whale astraglus as a trait cannot be assessed. Fortunately, some fossil whales have hind limbs, which concludes the wales have some features of the pulley shaped astragalus. The finding is controversial. When results are inconclusive or controversial, biologist try to resolve the conflict by re-analyzing the data
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