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Robert Dittmann 1/6/13 AP Biology Mrs. Vinion Phylogentic Trees (Packet), Question 1c.

The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education, This quote by the great Albert Einstein, reflects what is important for everyone trying to get a higher education. It is important to get a good education so that they can keep learning. That is what I'm doing when I say that the answer to 1c. is not Raccoon, Red Panda, and Panda. The correct answer is Sun Bear, and Sloth Bear. Let's see why. The first thing you must do is look at the question and diagram. The question states, List all modern descendants of the organism that was alive at the point indicated by the asterisk. The diagram shows the common ancestor at before 30 million years ago branching off into two groups with one being the Raccoon and Red Panda group and the other being Giant Panda and the Asterisk group which contains Spectacled, Sloth, Sun, Black, Polar, and Brown Bear. Parts of a Phylogenetic tree include the root, node, branch, taxon, and clade. The root of Model 1 is the hypothetical common ancestor of all modern Raccoons, Pandas, and Bears. Which this splits at a node into two separate groups. The clade of Raccoon, Red Panda and the Family of Ursidae (Large Bears). So why is Raccoon, Red Panda, and Giant Panda wrong as the answer for 1c. ? The argument for Raccoon, Red Panda, and Giant Panda is that their species was alive during the time where the asterisks is. But let's revisit the question. C. List all modern descendants of the organism that was alive the point indicated by the asterisk. So it can not be argued that Raccoon, Red Panda, and Giant Panda is the answer, because this would contradict what is being asked. Since it's only asking the descendants of the one organism that was alive indicated by the asterisk. Not only that but the asterisks indicates a point on the tree, not in time. How do we know this? Based on the definition of descendants and that they state modern descendants which indicates a change of some great magnitude to distinguish it from a modern descendant. A descendant is a person, plant, or animal that is descended from a particular ancestor. How could have, from a phylogenetic tree perspective, Raccoons of descended from an ancestor at 10 million years if there is no node or branch to show change. So why is Sloth Bear and Sun Bear correct? Since their ancestor was alive at the time indicated by the asterisk and they're the modern descendants of that animal. Spectacled Bear is not right because there is a node that splits of to it's branch. Same for the Black, Polar, and Brown Bear. Why does it matter to correct answers if their wrong? Because our future, as students is important and no teacher would want that to compromise that by making us less able to apply our intelligence in our future. I hope you see your error, and if not I will gladly explain in person my reasoning and get a letter signed by other teachers and other professionals if I must. Best regards, Robert Dittmann