Wingless Insects and Plucked Chickens

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Science  21 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5614, pp. 1854-1855
DOI: 10.1126/science.1083465

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The evolutionary relationships among different groups of arthropods have been consistently controversial. But one of the few features agreed upon by biologists is that insects (hexapods) are monophyletic, that is, they arose only once from a common six-legged ancestor. Enter Nardi and colleagues, whose mitochondrial genome sequence data throw "a naked fowl" into the midst of consensus, as Thomas describes in an accompanying Perspective.