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Guest Mr. E

Just a question.

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Guest Mr. E

shouldn't Animalia be in the Phylogeny Explorer?

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We are happy to add anything we have missed, and we have some plants. Completely forgot about that group. What is it again, animalia? We'll investigate and if we find any, we'll add them.

Just joking, Mr E. Great question, seriously!

If you are not a member of our Facebook group, The Phylogeny Explorer Development, then may I encourage you to do so. There's a catalogue of interesting stuff over the years you can see. This very question was asked on 6th January this year, entitled, 'What is an animal?' In a nutshell, it comes down to a few factors. The difference between traditional hierarchical systematic taxonomy vs clades and phylogenetic definitions. It also concerns what name is used. Sometimes a name is replaced for a range of reasons, e.g. one term doesn’t really cover a specific group or due to new discoveries, names are no longer relevant. The term Animalia and Metazoa are often used synonymously or interchangeably, but technically one group is slightly larger, encompassing some additional species. A good example that is more well known, is chordates and vertebrates. You can simultaneously be both an ape, monkey, primate and mammal for example. We are also fish, but not phylogenetically, as no such group exists, it’s a catch-all convenient name. A bit like the American group, ‘fish and wildlife service’ (very ambiguous) or the term, ‘invertebrate'. It is apples and oranges, confusing terms.    

We use the term, Metazoa on the project and focus more on monophyletic clades, but we will be sure to explain (e.g. within the Metazoan node or close to it) several other terms that are of similar rank and groupings.

Whilst the project has widened and developed over time, the primary purpose of the project, (as the founder, Aron Ra set out and this has not changed), is to lay out a comprehensive, visual evolutionary tree as determined by relationship and time between taxa, thus showing how life, in as far as we can show/know, has come to be. This involves a lot of complex and varied science and mathematics and research band investigation. As more information comes to light, we will amend, where needed, (and some of these early relationships in pre-history are open to interpretation, but the jigsaw puzzle is clear enough to determine that it is a picture of a scenic landscape rather than a portrait, for example. The facts of evolutionary descent with modification through natural selection is not in dispute, in fact this is the main purpose of the project, to demonstrate this for the first time on a single page, which has no escape route. Previously, it has only been possible to demonstrate this in snapshots through metaphorical microscopes or telescopes.

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