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By Ethan Cochrane

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Example text

To reduce this problem, Patterson and Rosen (1977) suggested nine new ranks between family and superfamily in order to be able to classify a clade of herrings, and McKenna and Bell (1997) introduced a large array of new ranks in order to cope with the diversity of Mammalia. The current codes also each have rules saying that names must have certain endings if they are applied to taxa that have certain ranks. When a taxon changes rank from one classification to another, its name must change its suffix.

Definitions Types of phylogenetic definitions. The horizontal bar indicates the evolution of the apomorphy mentioned in the apomorphy-based definition. "Branch-based" was formerly called "stem-based"; the term was changed to avoid confusion with the term "stem group" which means total clade minus crown clade. Under the rank-based codes of biological nomenclature, names themselves do not have definitions, but are instead usually linked to a type. Some biologists have claimed that this is unsatisfactory and that instability in nomenclature should only reflect instability of our knowledge of phylogeny, not instability in subjective opinions about which ranks should be given to which groups.

Note that only synapomorphies are of use in characterizing clades. Avoid homoplasies A homoplasy is a character that is shared by multiple species due to some cause other than common ancestry. The two main types of homoplasy are convergence (appearance of the same character in at least two distinct lineages) and reversion (the return to an ancestral character). Use of homoplasies when building a cladogram is sometimes unavoidable but is to be avoided when possible. svg Cladogram-example2-e... Cladogram-example2 Cladogram-example2 A well known example of homoplasy due to convergent evolution would be the character, "presence of wings".

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