follow up on paraphyly / polyphyly

Derek Sikes dsikes at UCALGARY.CA
Wed Nov 10 13:12:25 CST 2004


Dear Taxacomers,

Thanks to those who have replied already. I thought I might add one
additional bit on this issue:

I have also explained these terms informally (although I expect the
students to understand them formally as well) as follows:

Monophyly: a natural group

Paraphyly: a natural but incomplete group

Polyphyly: an unnatural group

I don't know where exactly I learned these informal definitions but
they're not mine. The problem with these is students memorize them but
often don't understand them!

Yours,
Derek
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Derek S. Sikes, Assistant Professor
Division of Zoology
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4

dsikes at ucalgary.ca
http://homepages.ucalgary.ca/~dsikes/sikes_lab.htm

phone: 403-210-9819
FAX:  403-289-9311

"Remember that Truth alone is the matter you are in Search after; and
if you have been mistaken, let no Vanity reduce you to persist in your
mistake." Henry Baker, London, 1785

Entomological Society of Alberta:
http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/courses.hp/esa/esa.htm
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