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From clade +‎ -istic, from Ancient Greek κλάδος (kládos, branch).



cladistics (uncountable)

  1. (systematics) An approach to biological systematics in which organisms are grouped based upon synapomorphies (shared derived characteristics) only, and not upon symplesiomorphies (shared ancestral characteristics).
    • 1991, Warren W. Burggren, William E. Bemis, “Physiological Evolution: Paradigms and Pitfalls”, in Matthew H. Nitecki, Doris V. Nitecki, editors, Evolutionary Innovations, page 210:
      Here we suggest emphasis on the techniques of cladistics (Eldredge and Cracraft 1980; Wiley 1981; Coddington 1988) because they provide a clear means of organizing phylogenetic information in branching diagrams.
    • 1992, Edward O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life[1], page 153:
      The construction of branching patterns to map evolutionary change is called cladistics, and the devising of higher classifications (genus and up) to conform with the results of cladistics is called phylogenetic systematics. [] Cladistics does allow us to judge which species are most likely to share a common ancestor, validating their placement in the same genus or family or higher taxon.
    • 2001, Clare Bates Congdon, Gaphyl: A Genetic Algorithms Approach to Cladistics, Luc de Raedt, Arno Siebes (editors), Principles of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery: 5th European Conference PKDD 2001, Volume 5, Springer, LNAI 2168, page 67,
      This research investigates the use of genetic algorithms to solve problems from cladistics — a technique used by biologists to hypothesize the relationships between organisms.

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