Definition of paraphyletic in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌparəfʌɪˈlɛtɪk/


(Of a group of organisms) descended from a common evolutionary ancestor or ancestral group, but not including all the descendant groups.
Example sentences
  • In fact, it is possible that the group is paraphyletic; the last common ancestor of all polymerid trilobites may also have been ancestral to the agnostids as well.
  • These taxa together form a paraphyletic group at the base of the clade of biramous arthropods.
  • To represent this, we have used multiple lines drawn to paraphyletic groups in the cladogram above.
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.