Cladograms are hypotheses concerning phylogenetic relationships. They make predictions about the distributions of characters in organisms. Any organism - living or extinct - can test an existing cladogram-based phylogenetic hypothesis. With living organisms, not only do we use their anatomy on the cladogram we can also use their genetic material. Parsimony is then used to determine which cladogram most likely approximates to the course of evolution. As will become evident, cladograms are among the most powerful tools available for learning about what occurred in ages long past.
Was this article helpful?