Questions for Further Thought
- What is a synapomorphy for the angiosperms? For conifers? Explain. Keep your answers in mind when you study these groups in a few weeks!
- If you choose homoplastic characters, what kind of groups do you get? Can you think of an example when this way of grouping organisms can be of use?
- What problems are there with the criteria for homology for plants as opposed to animals? What does it tell you about the biological differences between the two groups?
- Give an example from the plant or animal "kingdoms" of convergent evolution, parallel evolution and reversal of a character.
- In what kind of data-morphological or molecular-do you expect to find more homoplasy? Why?
- Many neo-botanists (folks who study living plants only) are hesitant to include fossil plants in their analyses. In what ways do you think that fossils could be of value in reconstructing the phylogeny of a modern group? What potential problems do you see?