To the origins of the animal kingdom
Phylogenetics in evolution
Phylogenetics was born along with Darwin’s theory of evolution. ‘At the beginning, the study of evolutionary relationships between living beings was based exclusively on the comparison of the morphological features of extant or fossilised animals,’ points out Denis Baurain. Scientists thus compared the external structure of organisms in order to determine their evolutionary affinities. At the end of the 1960s, molecular phylogenetics picked up the baton, and specialists in phylogenetics now use biological macromolecules such as DNA, RNA or proteins, the fundamental components of all living beings, to establish their evolutionary relationships.