Cladogram vs. Phylogenetic Tree: 5 Key Differences, Definition

Evolution and phylogeny are two terms that help explain how different animals are related to each other and what their traits are. Evolution is the study of how a group of organisms have changed, grown, and been picked out over time.

Phylogeny is the study of how an organism has changed over time. Biologists use different diagrams to show how organisms are linked to each other. The phylogenetic tree and the cladogram are two such diagrams that show how different animals are related to each other.

The main difference between a cladogram and a phylogenetic tree is that a cladogram only shows how different organisms are related to each other in terms of a common ancestor, while a phylogenetic tree shows how different organisms are related in terms of evolution and how much they have changed over time.

What is a Cladogram?

A cladogram is a picture that shows how closely related organisms are linked. It looks like a tree of life. It only shows the connections between clades that share a common ancestor, though.

For example, a cladogram shows that humans are more closely related to chimpanzees than gorillas, but it doesn’t show how long ago their common ancestor lived or how far away they are now.

A cladogram is a picture of lines that looks like a tree. The nodes of a cladogram show how two groups split off from a common ancestor. Clades are described at the end of each line, and people in the same clade have similar characteristics.

Cladogram vs. Phylogenetic Tree

Clades are made based on molecular differences instead of physical ones. On the other hand, cladograms can be made with the right information about shape and behaviour.

What is a Phylogenetic Tree?

Phylogenetic research can help answer questions in evolutionary biology, like how species are related to where they came from, how diseases spread, how species move around, and so on.

With the help of new molecular biological techniques, biologists have been able to figure out how phylogenetic links between organisms have changed over timees move around, and so on.

With the help of new molecular biological techniques, biologists have been able to figure out how phylogenetic links between organisms have changed over time.

A phylogenetic tree is a diagram that shows how animals are related to each other based on their characteristics, genetic history, and evolutionary ties.

A phylogenetic tree is more important than a cladogram when talking about the relationships between species in terms of their common ancestors and evolution.

In contrast to a cladogram, a phylogenetic tree is drawn as a branching tree diagram, with the length of the branches being proportional to the amount of evolution between the groups.

Biologists use tools such as parsimony, distance, likelihood, and Bayesian approaches, among others, to look at different parts of animals.

To make phylogenetic trees, scientists look at many things about animals, such as their shape, anatomy, behaviour, biochemistry, molecular structure, and fossils.

Similarities Between Cladogram and Phylogenetic Tree

  • Both cladograms and phylogenetic trees show how species have changed over time.
  • They show how a group of animals have changed over time.
  • Both the cladogram and the phylogenetic tree are made from the physical traits of the species to be shown.

The Main Difference Between Cladogram And Phylogenetic Tree

Both phylogenetic trees and cladogram trees show the relationship between groups of organisms, which are called “taxa.” A phylogenetic tree is also called an evolutionary tree.

On each branch of these evolutionary trees, the number of taxa that share a common ancestor goes down.

The tree nodes stand for the ancestors and the people who came after them. Since they all come from the same node, these groups are called sister groups. Again, these sister groups are related by blood.

An outgroup is a group of organisms that are not related to the same ancestor. The main difference between phylogenetic trees and cladogram trees is that cladogram trees have equal-distance branches that show the relationship between an evolutionary tree and a group of clades, while phylogenetic trees are also evolutionary trees that show an estimated distance of phylogeny if the distance of each branch is proportional to the amount of evolution that has been inferred.

The Most Important Differences Between a Cladogram and a Phylogenetic Tree

Key Differences Between A Cladogram And A Phylogenetic Tree

BasisCladogramPhylogenetic Tree
DefinitionCladogram can be defined as a branching diagram that shows the relationships among a specific group of cladesPhylogenetic tree is a diagram of the branch that shows the relationship which is inferred between different biological species as per the differences and similarities in genetic and/or physical characteristics
RelatednessThe cladogram shape depicts the relationships among a group of organismsThe amount of evolutionary change that has been inferred is determined by the distance of the branch
Evolutionary Time or Genetic DistanceCladogram does not represent the genetic distance or the time of evolutionPhylogenetic tree represents the genetic distance between the group of organisms and the time of evolution
Evolutionary HistoryAbout the actual history of evolution, the cladogram represents a hypothesisThe true history of evolution is represented by the Phylogenetic tree to some extent
BasisCladogram is based on the depicted morphological characters of the organismsNot only on morphological characters, but a Phylogenetic tree is also based on the genetic relationships of the organisms to be depicted

Cladogram vs. Phylogenetic Tree

Conclusion

A cladogram is a picture that shows how different animals are related based on how much they are alike. A phylogenetic tree is a picture that shows how creatures have changed over geological time.

They show the history of evolution and how organisms might be related. This is the main difference between a cladogram tree and a phylogenetic tree.

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