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Phylogenies (2 of 3) Left to right

Image caption:
Just because we tend to read phylogenies from left to right, there is no correlation with level of "advancement."

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If you use this image in your own non-commercial project please credit it to the University of California Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Evolution (http://evolution.berkeley.edu).

This image is part of a series:

Phylogenies (1 of 3) Tree-like not ladder-like
Evolution produces a pattern of relationships A B C D among lineages that is tree-like, not ladder-like.

Phylogenies (3 of 3) Order doesn't matter
For any speciation event on a phylogeny, the choice of which lineage goes to the right and which goes to the left is arbitrary. These phylogenies are equivalent.