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Phylogenomic Insights into Animal Evolution
UCL, Dept Genet Evolut & Environm, London WC1E 6BT, England..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences, Palaeobiology.
CNRS, USR CNRS Moulis 2936, Stn Ecol Expt, Ctr Theorisat & Modelisat Biodiversite, F-09200 Paris, France.;Univ Montreal, Dept Biochim, Ctr Robert Cedergren, Montreal, PQ H3C 3J7, Canada..
2015 (English)In: Current Biology, ISSN 0960-9822, E-ISSN 1879-0445, Vol. 25, no 19, R876-R887 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Animals make up only a small fraction of the eukaryotic tree of life, yet, from our vantage point as members of the animal kingdom, the evolution of the bewildering diversity of animal forms is endlessly fascinating. In the century following the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, hypotheses regarding the evolution of the major branches of the animal kingdom their relationships to each other and the evolution of their body plans was based on a consideration of the morphological and developmental characteristics of the different animal groups. This morphology-based approach had many successes but important aspects of the evolutionary tree remained disputed. In the past three decades, molecular data, most obviously primary sequences of DNA and proteins, have provided an estimate of animal phylogeny largely independent of the morphological evolution we would ultimately like to understand. The molecular tree that has evolved over the past three decades has drastically altered our view of animal phylogeny and many aspects of the tree are no longer contentious. The focus of molecular studies on relationships between animal groups means, however, that the discipline has become somewhat divorced from the underlying biology and from the morphological characteristics whose evolution we aim to understand. Here, we consider what we currently know of animal phylogeny; what aspects we are still uncertain about and what our improved understanding of animal phylogeny can tell us about the evolution of the great diversity of animal life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 25, no 19, R876-R887 p.
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267605DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.07.060ISI: 000362932800024PubMedID: 26439351OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-267605DiVA: diva2:873821
EU, European Research Council, ERC-2012-AdG 322790
Available from: 2015-11-25 Created: 2015-11-25 Last updated: 2015-12-22

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