Blackwell Publishing



Distance measures are used in phylogeny and refer to the quantitatively measured difference between two groups of organisms, such as two species.

Distance can be measured in two ways:

• The difference between the phenetic appearance of two groups (phenetic distance).

• The difference in their gene frequencies (genetic distance).

Distance is simply a more precise method of the 'look more similar' approach which classifies humans and chimpanzees (pictured opposite) as having a more recent common ancestor than humans and rabbits because they share more phenetic characters.

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