Blackwell Publishing

The reconstruction of phylogeny - How do we infer phylogeny?



Distance is a principle of phylogeny referring to the quantitatively measured difference between two groups of organisms, such as two species.

Distance can be measured in two ways:

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

2. The difference in their gene frequencies (genetic difference).

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

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