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Phylogenomic Insights into Animal Evolution [Current Biology]

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

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.(...)

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