About the UCMP Phylogeny Wing
Using Buttons | Using Cladograms
Exceptions | Other Navigational Aids
About the UCMP Phylogeny WingThe Phylogeny Wing is the largest of our museum's on-line exhibit halls, with more than 235 individual exhibits, many with multiple pages. The wing provides a survey of biodiversity, focusing on major lineages of organisms. Many of these lineages have gone extinct or currently exist at a much lower diversity than in the past, so there may be large exhibits on groups of organisms that are unfamiliar to you. They are featured because they play an important role in the history of life on earth.
The two primary means of touring the phylogeny displays are the buttons and cladograms, and each of these is briefly discussed below.
Once you have clicked on a button, the set of four buttons will be displayed across the top of the new page, allowing you to move "horizontally" between the pages on that layer. The header at the top of the page and a change in button color (the other three buttons turn grey) tell you which page you are currently visiting. To return to the introductory page for the group of organisms you are exploring, click on the group's name, which is displayed in the header or title at the top of the page.
The four buttons below are used throughout the phylogeny wing, and are displayed in the same order wherever they occur.
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Using CladogramsCladograms appear on each "Systematics" page. They show the relationships among subgroups of the group you are currently investigating. As an example, the Chelicerate systematics page features a cladogram, shown below, with a number of boxes representing the various groups of chelicerates: arachnids, xiphosurans (horseshoe crabs), eurypterids (sea scorpions), and so forth.
In addition to the scientific names in the cladogram boxes, there are images of organisms for which there are UCMP exhibits to explore. Click on the image to go to the exhibit on that subgroup. Essentially, this takes you "down" another layer, from which you can explore the subgroups. If the cladogram box has no picture, such as "Aglaspida" in the example above, then the exhibit for that group has not yet been created.
There are two additional features of the cladograms: color coding and a special icon. Scarlet boxes (as in the "Aglaspida" box above) indicate that there is uncertainty about the relationships of the group. Each kingdom in represented by a different color: protist boxes are gold, animals are midnight blue, plants are green, bacteria are cobalt, and so forth. You may find that this helps you keep track of your current location. Some boxes (as in the "Arachnida" box above) have a small cladogram icon instead of an organism picture. The icon is used when there is no set of introductory pages for a group, but rather a single page with a cladogram on it.
For more information about the purpose of cladograms and how to interpret
them, see our exhibit Journey into Phylogenetic Systematics. This exhibit continues to grow.
Some groups of organisms do not have the four buttons. Though perhaps of great interest to other biologists, they have received only one or two pages on our server because of a poor fossil record, or because there is not sufficient information to fill all four separate pages for the group.
In addition to the main entrance hall to the Phylogeny Wing, some major exhibits within the wing, such as the dinosaurs, also have their own entrance halls.
If you become lost as you jump from exhibit to exhibit or Wing to Wing, of if you have a particular destination in mind, you can always use our Web Lift to Taxa to quickly reach any point in the Phylogeny Wing. The Web Lift to Taxa is a comprehensive listing of all groups of organisms with exhibits on our server. An explanation of how to use the Web Lift may be found on that page.
Because the list has grown rather long, and to make searching for a favorite group a bit easier, we now have an Express Lift to Taxa which lists only the major groups of organisms, and those groups of particular interest, such as sharks and birds.