The word phylogeny has its origin in the Greek language and it comes from the meanings of the union of the words: ” phylon ” which means tribe or ethnicity and ” gene ” whose meaning is to produce or generate . It is classified as a branch of biology that is responsible for studying the origin and development of species in a general way. The biologist Ernst Haeckel was the first scientist to use the word in 1866, and the theory came to affirm the different theories that had already been proposed by biologists Charles Darwin andAlfred Russel Wallace , both scientists who believed and affirmed that living beings do not remain immutable, but that they present different types of evolution over time. It is an area of biology that studies the development of the species that inhabit our planet and the different types of organisms that inhabit it. Phylogeny is responsible for studying in depth the evolutionary relationships between the different species and organism, trying to establish different lines very similar to the genealogical trees in which the descent and the degree of kinship between one and the other are shown.

What is phylogeny?

The phylogeny is a broad branch of biology that is responsible for studying the development and the species that inhabit the planet in general, also studying the origin of them, emphasizing that human beings are not immutable, but on the otherwise they change constantly.

  • Etymology
  • Human Phylogeny
  • Animal phylogeny
  • Plant phylogeny
  • Of the reptiles
  • Of the fish
  • Molecular phylogeny
  • Language phylogeny
  • Examples


The word phylogeny is known as a neologism . A neologism refers to the birth of a new word in a certain language or language, it can also refer to the inclusion of a new meaning to a word that already exists. This word was coined by the professor of German origin, Ernst Haeckel during the years 1834 and 1919. It is made up of two different roots that are:  Phylon , which refers to ethnicity, tribe or species. And the word Geneia , whose meaning is origin. It is from this conjunction of words and meanings that we know that he studies the origin of species.

Human Phylogeny

The phylogeny is the branch of science that is responsible for studying the similarities that may exist between the different members of a species from the point of view morphological , anatomical and embryological . It is in charge of studying the different bifurcations, the families and the genetic structures that they have. When we refer to human phylogeny , we must mention that our evolutionary tree has been changing based on new theories, including that our ancestor is homo sapiens, according to various investigations that have been carried out over time. The different changes that ours has been presenting, such as bipedalism and intellectual, mental and cognitive changes , such as language, have humanized us over time. Seen in this way, it gives us the possibility to study and understand why we are similar to other hominids and which aspects are unique to our species.

Animal phylogeny

The phylogeny Animal is the branch of biology that is responsible for establishing relationships between animals based on their origin joint business or an ancestor common. Its main aim is to get to the roots of the ancient through the study of the different fossils that have been found, carrying out studies of their characteristics and doing DNA analysis to determine which characteristics are common with other different individuals. Animal phylogeny seeks to discover the origin of animals in order to give them a correct classification. Studies in this branch also focus on the study of the symmetry of animals, the presence or absence of true tissues.

Plant phylogeny

The phylogeny of plants is also known by the name of the evolutionary history of plants and seeks the correct way to consider their evolution, according to their levels of complexity, starting from microalgae to reaching plants that have angiosperms . The origin of plants is closely related to the plant cell or alga, which was the first eukaryotic being capable of photosynthesis and which has managed to acquire its plaste.

Of the reptiles

Reptiles known as synapsids include commonly observed mammals and a host of related fossil forms known as ‘reptiles’, however they are not considered reptiles. Regarding the internal phylogeny of reptiles, if only current forms are taken into account, it would have to be classified as follows: reptiles, turtles, lizards, snakes and crocodiles.

Of the fish

According to the phylogeny, fish belong to the group called paraphyletic and are vertebrates that are not tetrapods . The fish are then classified into:

  • Agnatos:  fish that do not have a jaw .
  • Chondrichthyans:  fish that are cartilaginous such as sharks and stingrays, have visible gill slits and a single cartilage skeleton.
  • Osteíctios: they  are fish that do have skeletons and gills .

Molecular phylogeny

This is the branch that is responsible for studying hereditary differences concerning molecules , mainly the different DNA sequences of the human body to find evolutionary relationships between them.

Language phylogeny

It is the process by which it is possible to understand the evolutionary and universal origin of the relationships between human beings as a species by comparing them with other different species of antiquity. Study the changes that have occurred during the development of the language of human beings and the relationships that can be established through language.


Animals can be divided into reptiles and mammals , in turn, reptiles are subdivided into snakes and crocodiles such as the cobra, anaconda and alligators; while on the other hand mammals can be subdivided into rodents and primates , such as mice, gorillas, horses, etc.

Another clear example that we can cite is in humans . Starting with the gibbon , then the orangutan , moving on to the chimpanzee , gorilla and finally evolving into the human .

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