YOU'RE THE SCIENTIST!

YOUR EVOLUTIONARY FAMILY TREE

STEP 7: DRAW CONCLUSIONS

Tree of Life Video:

This video explains how phylogenetic trees work, what they represent, and how to apply them to this exercise.

EXAMPLE

From my results, I can conclude that my dog and I are more closely related than either of us are to the frog.

I can now draw a phylogenetic tree to illustrate my findings. I can also label on the phylogenetic tree when each of the traits likely evolved.

Forward-facing eyes, big brains, the loss of a tail, and bipedalism likely occurred after our evolutionary split from dogs (upper red circle).

Warm-bloodedness, lactation, internal gestation, and hair likely evolved after the mammals (dogs and humans) split from the frogs but before humans split from dogs (lower red circle).

Conversely, cold-bloodedness, no hair, and snout are likely the primitive (ancestral) conditions, meaning that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of the frog, dog, and human was likely cold-blooded, had no hair, and had a snout. 

you-re-the-scientist-phylogeny-oct-27-1_10

This simple phylogenetic tree illustrates the evolutionary relationships between frogs, dogs, and humans

THE LAB

State your results, listing the similarities and differences among species and your thoughts on the evolutionary relationships between each of your chosen species.

Use your results and the resource video to build a phylogenetic tree for the species you chose to research.

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