If you’re confused about the term Synapomorphy and Symplesiomorphy, you don’t have to worry. In this guide, we will elaborate on these two terms, also discuss Synapomorphy vs Symplesiomorphy to make the description more clear.
To know the difference between synapomorphy and symplesiomorphy, you need to first understand the meaning of both terms. So let’s start with the meaning of synapomorphy and symplesiomorphy.
What is Synapomorphy?
The term comes from the Greek word where “Syn” means shared, “Apo” means away from and “Morphy” means to form or shape. Simply put, animals share their form or shape as they move away from their ancestors (mother) and related groups. Thus, Synapomorphy helps scientists to determine that separated animals are related to which group of ancestors. Animals that share the same Synapomorphy will likely share the same ancestors. In case, group of organisms shares more than one synapomorphy, it is clearer that they are related. Synapomorphy is also known as Homology.
A synapomorphy is a shared and derived character that is common between its ancestors and descendants. A character or trait is something that can be observed about the organism. It may be the size of the organism, type of skin, or things like eye color, or DNA.