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Explain why two unrelated species may be incorrectly grouped into the same taxa?

Organisms with similar morphological characteristics may be grouped together, although they share no evolutionary relationship. For example, Aristotle classified birds and insects in the same group. Aristotle had three main taxa: land, sea and air. Birds and insects were both classified into the air taxon as many insects have wings. Aristotle saw that birds and insects shared this morphological trait and grouped them together. However, they had no common ancestor. 

This is called convergent evolution, where two groups of organisms evolve the same adaptation but have no common ancestor. It is very misleading when classifying organisms, as the aim is to classify them based on their evolutionary relationship.

Thomas M.

2 years ago

Answered by Thomas, who has applied to tutor A Level Biology with MyTutor


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Thomas M.

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Degree: Biological Sciences (Bachelors) - Imperial College London University

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