paraphyletic

Main Entry:  paraphyletic
Part of Speech:  adj
Definition:  composed of some but not all members descending from a common ancestor
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
paraphyletic  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (pār'ə-fī-lět'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
Relating to a taxonomic group that includes some but not all of the descendants of a common ancestor. In the traditional taxonomy of vertebrates, where fish are a separate class from the classes of terrestrial vertebrates, the class of fish is paraphyletic, since the terrestrial vertebrates are descended from a type of fish. Compare monophyletic, polyphyletic.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature