Phylogenetic series. For a number of groups of animals and plants, paleontologists have been able to recreate continuous rows of forms from the oldest to modern, reflecting their evolutionary changes. The domestic zoologist V. O. Kovalevsky (1842–1883) recreated the phylogenetic series of horses. In horses, as they move to fast and long runs, the number of fingers on the limbs decreases and the size of the animal increases. These changes were the result of changes in the horse’s lifestyle, which switched to eating exclusively vegetation, in search of which it was necessary to travel long distances. It is believed that all these evolutionary transformations took 60–70 million years.
The study of phylogenetic series based on data from paleontology, comparative anatomy and embryology is important for the further development of the general theory of evolution, the construction of a natural system of organisms, and the reconstruction of the evolutionary pattern of a specific systematic group of organisms. Currently, to build phylogenetic series, scientists are increasingly attracting data from such sciences as genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, biogeography, ethology, etc.
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