What Did T. rex Taste Like? is an introduction to cladistics, the most commonly used method of classification today. Cladistics organizes living things by common ancestry and evolutionary relationships, enabling us to better understand life's present diversity and evolutionary history.
Like other methods of classification, cladistics makes use of the observable features of organisms. Cladistics also allows us to examine the ways in which features change within groups, and to observe patterns of origin and diversification over time. Unlike any other method of classification, cladistics is a powerful predictive tool, allowing us to propose hypotheses about the relationships between organisms.
This module presents a simplified version of the process used to generate cladistic analyses and demonstrates its predictive power. Typically dozens or even hundreds of features are examined before a cladogram is produced. Although in this module only structural features are used, true cladistic analyses also use biochemical, genetic and even behavioral features.
This recommendation is dependent on student learning and reading levels. This module contains a moderate amount of detail and some new vocabulary.
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