Cladogram of the tree of life

Cladogram of the tree of life

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This image is part of the feature Missing Links - Transitional Fossils

Credit: NEMO RAMJET/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cladogram of the tree of life. Artwork showing the relative kinship between living organisms. Animals, bacteria, fungi and plants are depicted as a branching 'tree of life', known as a cladogram. It shows a common ancestor (single branch, centre) from which all organisms are descended. Present day organisms (shown as coloured silhouettes) are grouped into taxonomic order according to the closeness of their morphological, molecular and genetic make-up. It shows how closely related groups of organisms are, and supports suggestions of a possible evolutionary ancestry. The 'tree of life' was first popularised by Charles Darwin in his book, The Origin of Species. Cladistics was first developed by German biologist Willi Hennig.

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Keywords: ancester, ancestry, animal, artwork, biodiversity, biological, biology, branching, charles darwin, cladistics, cladogram, classification, common ancestor, darwin, diversity, evolution, evolutionary, evolutionary tree, fauna, genome, illustration, kinship, life on earth, lineage, origin of species, phyla, phylogenetic, phylogeny, phylum, plant, species, systematics, taxa, taxonomy, the origin of species, tree of life, wildlife, willi hennig

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