from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Thinking Allowed: Factory music and volunteering post-recessionMonday, 6th July 2015 00:15 - BBC Radio 4<p>On this week's programme, Laurie Taylor and guests discuss pop music in worker's culture and how... Read more: Thinking Allowed: Factory music and volunteering post-recession
The Met: Policing London: Episode FiveMonday, 6th July 2015 21:00 - BBC One
Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story: Instruments Of MurderMonday, 6th July 2015 22:00 - BBC Four
The Met: Policing London: Episode FiveMonday, 6th July 2015 22:35 - BBC One
The Bottom Line: Summer 2015: The Bottom Line - Burger BattlesAvailable for over a yearThis episode of OU/BBC's The Bottom Line focuses on the rapidly-growing burger market. Read more: The Bottom Line: Summer 2015: The Bottom Line - Burger Battles
Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story: Instruments Of MurderAvailable until Wednesday, 5th August 2015 23:00
The Met: Policing London: Episode OneAvailable until Friday, 10th July 2015 02:50
The Bank: Love and MoneyAvailable until Sunday, 2nd August 2015 00:50
LifeDavid Attenborough explores the vibrant mix of life found on our plant - where it comes from, and... Read more: Life
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Start writing fictionHave you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course,... Try: Start writing fiction now
Succeed with maths – Part 1If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course is for... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
An introduction to biological systematics
This unit is concerned with macroevolution – the patterns and processes of evolution...
This unit is concerned with macroevolution – the patterns and processes of evolution above the species level. A crucial consideration in macroevolutionary studies is that of the evolutionary relationships (phylogeny) of the organisms in question. The unit begins with an introduction to the scope of macroevolutionary studies and illustrates methods of reconstructing phylogeny, from both morphological and molecular data.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- understand the patterns and processes of evolution above the species level
- appreciate the differences between the three methods of phylogenetic analysis: evolutionary systematics, phenetics, cladistics.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Systematics and the reconstruction of phylogeny
- 2 A first approach to systematics
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 Darwin, Linnaeus and Simpson
- 2.3 What does relationship mean in systematics? G.G. Simpson
- 2.4 What does relationship mean in systematics? E. Mayr
- 2.5 What does relationship mean in systematics? W. Hennig
- 2.6 Three schools of classification
- 2.7 Inferring relationships of common ancestry
- 2.8 Systematic hierarchy
- 2.9 Conflicting morphological characters
- 2.10 Chimps, gorillas and humans
- 2.11 Consequences of human / chimp pairing
- 2.12 Translating a cladogram into a classification
- 2.13 Systematics and biogeography
- 2.14 Summing up
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
An introduction to biological systematics
This unit is from our archive. It is an adapted extract from the Curriculum Areamodule that is no longer in presentation. If you wish to study formally at The Open University, you may wish to explore the courses we offer in this
This unit is concerned with macroevolution the patterns and processes of evolution above the species level.
A crucial consideration in macroevolutionary studies is that of the evolutionary relationships (phylogeny) of the organisms in question. The unit begins with an introduction to the scope of macroevolutionary studies and illustrates methods of reconstructing phylogeny, from both morphological and molecular data.
It is important to appreciate the differences between the three methods of phylogenetic analysis that are described, namely
A further illustration of these concepts is provided by a sequence of audio clips featuring the late Dr. Colin Patterson, which will give you a second chance to familiarise yourself with the concepts involved.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Natural History courses or view the range of currently available OU Natural History courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 27th April 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.