A Family Tree
This week, Biology in Science Fiction class goes to Pandora for Avatar. We’ll explore the phylogeny of Pandoran creatures, asking questions such as, when did the banshees diverge from the Na’vi?
For warm-up, try the exercise above, to calculate the divergence tree of plant species on a different planet, Ralinius. The plant genomes were mapped by DNA sequence comparison. The table above shows the percent similarity for all pairs of plant species. Assuming that mutations accumulate at 0.5% per million years, can you draw a phylogenetic tree?