Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101

Lesson summary for:
Phylogenetic systematics, a.k.a. evolutionary trees

image

  - rated 3 times

To rate this resource, click a star:

Answer the security question:

5 + 3 =

Overview:
Learn about phylogenetic systematics, the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms, and how the field is shaping biological research today.

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
20 minutes

Teaching tips:
Students can read this tutorial for a review of phylogenies and tree-thinking.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Classification is based on evolutionary relationships.

  • Scientists use multiple lines of evidence (including morphological, developmental, and molecular evidence) to infer the relatedness of taxa.

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) portray hypotheses about evolutionary relationships.

  • Evolutionary trees (i.e., phylogenies or cladograms) are built from multiple lines of evidence.

  • The principle of parsimony suggests that the phylogenetic hypothesis most likely to be true is the one requiring the fewest evolutionary changes.

  • Evolutionary trees can be used to make inferences and predictions.

Teacher background:

<< Back to search results