Biology as Poetry: Biology

Bacteriophage Ecology Group


Products of reproduction within lineages, including products of products of reproduction and so on.

Individuals can possess descendants as so too can species and taxa in general. The relationship of these individuals or groups to their descendants is as ancestors. Lineages themselves can be viewed as series of ancestor-descendant relationships where any individual that came earlier on this progression is an ancestor and any individual that came or comes later is a descendant.

While it is common to speak of species as ancestral to other species (ancestor species relative to descendant species), it is important to keep in mind that the concept of ancestor and descendant is no different when considering families of humans (e.g., your parents are ancestors to you and you are their descendant), within-population relationships, with-species relationships, or relationships between ancestor and descendant species.

In all of these cases parents have given rise to children, one step at a time, and those children then serve as parents to children of their own, and this has been going on, in an unbroken chain, from the origin of life until, for extant organisms, the present.

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