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At the end of this lab, students should know...
Synapomorphies are measurable or quantifiable physical features which can be used to distinguish and split groups of living organisms.
A dendrogram is a tree diagram representing the evolutionary or cladistical relationships between groups of organisms.
Cladograms and phylograms are the two main types of dendrograms. In a cladogram, the tips of the branches represent the species, and the branches simply show how they relate to one another. Nodes represent the last common ancestor. In a phylogram, the branches vary in length, with the length representing the amount of time that has passed since divergence from the last common ancestor.
Measurements or quantification of morphological and/or physical characteristics, or genetic data, may be used to construct dendrograms.
Bioinformatics is a combination of statistics, mathematical modeling, and computer science applied to biological information – like DNA or protein sequences.