Plesiomorphy and symplesiomorphy

Ancestral character or trait state shared by two or more taxa / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In phylogenetics, a plesiomorphy ("near form") and symplesiomorphy are synonyms for an ancestral character shared by all members of a clade, which does not distinguish the clade from other clades.

Phylogenies showing the terminology used to describe different patterns of ancestral and derived trait states.[1]
Imaginary cladogram.[2] The yellow mask is a plesiomorphy for each living masked species, because it is ancestral.[2] It is also a symplesiomorphy for them. But for the four living species as a whole, it is an apomorphy because it is not ancestral for all of them. The yellow tail is a plesiomorphy and symplesiomorphy for all living species.

Plesiomorphy, symplesiomorphy, apomorphy, and synapomorphy, all mean a trait shared between species because they share an ancestral species.[lower-alpha 1]

Apomorphic and synapomorphic characteristics convey much information about evolutionary clades and can be used to define taxa. However, plesiomorphic and symplesiomorphic characteristics cannot.

The term symplesiomorphy was introduced in 1950 by German entomologist Willi Hennig.