By John C. Avise
Reconstructing phylogenetic timber from DNA sequences has develop into a well-liked workout in lots of branches of biology, and the following the well known geneticist John Avise explains why. Molecular phylogenies supply a genealogical backdrop for studying the evolutionary histories of many different forms of organic features (anatomical, behavioral, ecological, physiological, biochemical or even geographical). Guiding readers on a typical historical past journey alongside dozens of evolutionary pathways, the writer describes how creatures starting from microbes to elephants got here to own their present phenotypes. crucial analyzing for students, specialist biologists and a person attracted to typical historical past and biodiversity, this publication is jam-packed with attention-grabbing examples of evolutionary puzzles from around the animal country; how the toucan obtained its huge, immense invoice, how reptiles develop again misplaced limbs and why Arctic fish do not freeze.
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Extra info for Evolutionary pathways in nature : a phylogenetic approach
Did they appear consistently in multiple appropriate methods of data analysis)? Do the molecular trees generally agree with the suspected organismal phylogenies based on conventional types of systematic evidence? Were the phenotype descriptions themselves adequate? g. . How many and what fraction of relevant extant taxa were phenotypically surveyed? Were the phenotypes scored correctly and unambiguously? How suitable were those surveyed phenotypes likely to have been for PCM analysis? Were the PCM analyses themselves properly conducted?
In the molecular phylogeny from Vidal and Hedges, however, varanids proved to be neither ancestral to nor the immediate sister group of Serpentes (Fig. 8). Thus, according to the authors’ interpretation, the hypothesized evolutionary chain of transition from mosasaurs to early marine snakes appeared to be broken; accordingly, the original marine hypothesis for snake origins was provisionally refuted. Given the back-and-forth nature of the debate over the land-first versus sea-first habits of ancestral serpents, I doubt that the molecular findings described above will be the final word on the matter.
Coiled species are few and far between in limpet phylogeny, but they do exist, and their presence would certainly seem to violate Dollo’s law. On the outside, the coiled limpets look like their many uncoiled cousins, but cross-sections through their tented shells reveal an internal spiral architecture that at least superficially resembles the coiled and tunneled designs of most other gastropods. The genetic basis of shell coiling in limpets is unknown, so any proposed mechanism underlying the re-evolution of coiling remains conjectural at present.
Evolutionary pathways in nature : a phylogenetic approach by John C. Avise