how do you explain the evolution of the different kingdoms?

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Offline annie123

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In discussions of evolution it's usually done only at the species level but no one ever seems to get to the point of how we get elephants and spiders, toadstools and rhubarb.I've tried to get answers on the web but without success. Any suggestions?


Offline dlorde

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As I understand it, the separate kingdoms emerged at a very earliest stages of evolution, when the primordial cellular life was differentiating into separate metabolic niches . There has been much argument about quite how the various kingdoms developed and how many there are. Paucity of early fossil evidence doesn't help. Modern classifications vary in the number of kingdoms they acknowledge, from 5 to 8. Phylogenetics, which looks at the genetic material, has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works in terms of implied ancestral relationships, so, last I heard, the question on kingdoms was still open - hopefully someone with some expertise will be along to update us.

But in principle, the mechanisms remain the same. Early life undergoes mutation, some mutations are more viable than others and become the ancestral lines of the major branches of life, arbitrarily named domains, which separate into kingdoms, then phyla, classes, orders, families, genus's, and ultimately species. They're just taxonomic terms for major levels of branching in the 'tree of life'.
« Last Edit: 19/05/2013 01:18:00 by dlorde »