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Tuesday
Mar032009

Welcome to Monofilia.org

In Spanish it's monofilia, in English, monophyly. Monophyly is among the most important terms in evolutionary biology, in fact, the idea of monophyly lies at the heart of evolution. Monophyly refers to a shared common ancestry. A monophyletic group contains an ancestor and all it's decendants. All the available evidence points to a common genetic heritage for all the diversity of life on earth. All living things form a monophyletic group. Monophyly also defines biology at every level. Species themselves are monophyletic lineages united by a shared genetic heritage with members sharing a more recent common ancestor with one another than any member shares with another species.

Because the idea of monophyly is so central to evolution I thought it was a fitting to incorporate it in this site's title. Thanks to friend and colleague Dr. Rosa Mary de Ayala for coming up with the name. It has a nice ring to it when said in Spanish compared to English. It's also appropriate given the Monofilia.org mascot on the banner above, an Ornate Flaycatcher (Myiotriccas ornatus), is native to South America. I photographed this little guy in Ecuador. So, enjoy the site and please send your comments and feedback.