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Unit 6: Evolution
Aim #41 Cladograms: How do we demonstrate relationships using cladograms?
Phylogeny is the study of evolutionary relationships based on structural and DNA similarities. Cladistics is a system of
classifying organisms that considers characteristics that are “new evolutionary innovations” or a new trait that has appeared
due to evolution. A characteristic that appears in recent parts of a lineage but not in its older members is called a derived
characteristic. Every organism is classified based on physical similarities and differences such as anatomies, DNA, proteins,
enzymes etc. These characteristics can be used to create a diagram, called a cladogram, which shows evolutionary relationships
among groups of organisms.
Demonstrates new traits that have
appeared due to evolution
1. Define phylogeny:
2. What is a cladogram?
3. What types of characteristics are used to create cladograms?
4. What is a derived characteristic?
5. Based on the cladogram above, which 2 species are:
a) The most closely related?
List all characteristics that these species have in common:
b) The most distantly related?
List the characteristic that these species have in common:
c) The most genetically similar?
1. Below is a data table of amino acid differences among species.
Which 2 species are the most similar?
Which 2 species share the most recent common ancestor?
Which 2 species are the most different?
Why is the number of amino acid differences among species a better way to determine relatedness rather than
certain physical characteristics?
2. To make a cladogram, you must first look at the animals you are studying and establish characteristics that they share and
ones that are unique to each group. For the animals on the table, indicate whether the characteristic is present or not. If it is
present, put a check. If it is not present, leave the box blank. Based on that chart, create a cladogram like the one pictured
3. Which two species are the most closely related
indicate about their ancestry?
4. Which species was least closely related to the others?
5. What traits separate the least closely related species from the other species?
. What does this