- classification of organisms based on the branchings of descendant lineages from a common ancestor.
Origin of cladistics
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- (functioning as singular) biology a method of grouping animals that makes use of lines of descent rather than structural similarities
C20: New Latin, from Greek klādos branch, shoot
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- A system of classification based on the presumed phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of groups of organisms, rather than purely on shared features. Many taxonomists prefer cladistics to the traditional hierarchies of Linnean classification systems. Compare Linnean.
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A method of taxonomic classification that groups organisms according to their lines of evolutionary descent. All descendants of a given organism are called a clade.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.