My watch list  

Basal (phylogenetics)

In phylogenetics, basal members of a group diverged earlier than a subgroup of others (or vice versa). It is often used in opposition to the word derived. The following are example usages of the term basal:....

  • The palaeodicots are basal flowering plants, diverging before the main split between the monocots and eudicots.
  • Orangutans are the most basal of the great apes, having diverged from the line earliest.

Many biologists (especially those that use cladistics) now prefer to use "basal" instead of the word "primitive," which may imply inferiority. On the contrary, if a basal member of a group exists alongside derived members, it has had more time to evolve and is often equally well-suited to its environment.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Basal_(phylogenetics)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE