Evolutionary trees

Phylogeny is the evolutionary history of a type of organism. Dr. Crother, professor of biological sciences at Southeastern, referred to phylogenies as evolutionary trees.

“You look at family trees the same way, but you can also do genetics of life. How are all species of dogs related and how are they related to bears, fish, lizards and snakes?,” said Dr. Crother.

In order to discover how different species are related, one would have to look at the right part of the genome.

“Some parts of the genome evolve quickly so they can’t tell you how fish and dogs are related, but some evolve slowly so they can tell you how bacteria and viruses in dogs are related,” said Dr. Crother.


A diagram found in Dr.Crother’s office on evolutionary trees.

“People should accept that species are real. Blackberries exist whether or not we say anything about them or know of their existence; they’re there and are different from other berries, ” Dr. Crother continued.

It will be a big step having people accept this idea.

Dr. Crother goes on to say that the areas of endemism are being treated and that some areas are more like species than atoms.

“In a study in South Africa on the distribution of beetles we took our new fun philosophy and addressed an old question in using the data set to do it,” said Crother.

According to Dr. Crother, one cannot do this to countries because the borders are artificial.

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