Phylogeny - Research Article from World of Microbiology and Immunology

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Phylogeny.
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Phylogeny is the inferred evolutionary history of a group of organisms (including microorganisms). Paleontologists are interested in understanding life through time, not just at one time in the past or present, but over long periods of past time. Before they can attempt to reconstruct the forms, functions, and lives of once-living organisms, paleontologists have to place these organisms in context. The relationships of those organisms to each other are based on the ways they have branched out, or diverged, from a common ancestor. A phylogeny is usually represented as a phylogenetic tree or cladogram, which are like genealogies of species.

Phylogenetics, the science of phylogeny, is one part of the larger field of systematics, which also includes taxonomy. Taxonomy is the science of naming and classifying the diversity of organisms. Not only is phylogeny important for understanding paleontology (study of fossils), however, paleontology in turn contributes to phylogeny. Many...

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This section contains 1,040 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Phylogeny Encyclopedia Article
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World of Microbiology and Immunology
Phylogeny from World of Microbiology and Immunology. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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