Hexapod Origins: Monophyletic or Paraphyletic?

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Science  21 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5614, pp. 1887-1889
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078607

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Recent morphological and molecular evidence has changed interpretations of arthropod phylogeny and evolution. Here we compare complete mitochondrial genomes to show that Collembola, a wingless group traditionally considered as basal to all insects, appears instead to constitute a separate evolutionary lineage that branched much earlier than the separation of many crustaceans and insects and independently adapted to life on land. Therefore, the taxon Hexapoda, as commonly defined to include all six-legged arthropods, is not monophyletic.

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