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Name: Kyla Banjawan; James Barcebal Date: March 13, 2019


Table 2.​ Character matrix for draconic species.

Character and Character Traits

Species Tail Number Scale Number Speech Human

of Limbs Color of Breath Form

Gold 0 0 1 1 1 1

Green 0 0 0 1 1 0

Red 0 0 0 1 1 0

Silver 0 0 1 1 1 1

White 0 0 0 1 1 0

Wyvern 1 1 0 0 0 0

Table 3:​ Codes for character states.

Character: ​ Tail

Character States: S​ tinger - 1; No Stinger - 0

Character: ​Limbs

​ limbs- 1; 4 limbs- 0
Character States: 6

Character: ​Scale Color

​ etallic - 1; Chromatic - 0
Character States: M

Character: ​Number of Breath Weapons

Character States: ​One or More Weapons - 1; No Weapons - 0

Character: ​Speech

Character States: ​Capable - 1; Incapable - 0

Character: ​Human Form

Character States: ​Can Transform - 1; Cannot Transform - 0

How did you decide which characters to use for the phylogeny? How did you decide which
character states were primitive and which were derived?
We chose the characters where we can see a lot of similarities between the different types
of dragons. We used the character states that was similar among dragons as primitive
meanwhile, the derived character states are put at a more recent group.

*Figure 2: Cladogram of dragonic species.

What is your outgroup? Why does it make sense that it is the outgroup?
The wyvern was put as an outgroup due to its difference from the other dragon species. It
had 4 differences from dragon species and only has one similarity with thee dragons.
Are there any homoplasies among the draconic species? What are they?
There are about three homoplasies present among the dragonic species. These
homoplasies are as follows: an increase in the number of limbs from four to six, the
presence of one or more breath weapons, and the absence of stingers in the tails.

Is your cladogram parsimonious? Justify your answer.

Parsimony refers to the principle followed in choosing the cladogram that has the least
number of homoplasies. The data of dragons that we had an actually have two cladograms,
the existing cladogram in Figure 2, and the reverse of the cladogram in Figure 2. If we
reversed the order of the cladogram, the wyvern would be at the last part of the cladogram,
there would be 4 homoplasies namely: 4 limbs, a tail with a stinger, inability to breath
weapon, and inability to speak. Meanwhile, with the current cladogram, there are only 3

Is having two breath weapons an adaptation? Justify your answer.

The possession of two breath weapons is an adaptation. The reason why such abilities were
developed is because of the need for these species to survive the various environments
where they live in.

Guide Questions:

1. Why are fictional organisms like dragons useful tools in exercises such as this? What are
their limitations as such?
Their are a lot of dragon species from myths which have unique sets of characteristics from
each other. Moreover, since dragons are fictional characters, we could only focus on the
given data given on the exercise, it gave the basic skills needed to construct a cladogram
and understand the concept of evolution. However, because of them being only fictional
characters, it might discount the many characteristics seen in living organisms.

2. How would you modify this exercise to illustrate some of the common concepts of
Darwinian evolution?
One of the things that could be added in this exercise is the situation of the environment
where the dragons reside. This can possibly show how and why the variations in
characteristics appeared and was passed on.
3. In a cladogram of all animals, what would be a good outgroup?
In a cladogram of all animals, I think that a good outgroup is the first ever single-cell
microorganism that was present on Earth. From there, we could expound on how things
started to develop into a plethora of living things and what changes came about.