An introduction to biological systematics
An introduction to biological systematics

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An introduction to biological systematics

An introduction to biological systematics

Introduction

This course 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 course 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

  • evolutionary systematics

  • phenetics

  • cladistics

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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in Science [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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