In DepthEvolution

All in the (bigger) family

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Science  16 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6219, pp. 220-221
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6219.220

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A decade of genetic data and other evidence has persuaded most researchers that insects and crustaceans, long considered widely separated branches of the arthropod family, actually belong together. The new arthropod tree puts hexapods—six-limbed creatures that include insects, springtails, and silverfish—as closer kin to crabs, lobster, shrimp, and crayfish than those "standard" crustaceans are to others such as seed shrimp. Traditionally, insect and crustacean scientists have taken different approaches, even when they have studied similar problems. Now they are exploring the consequences of the new family tree, and last week at a special symposium of the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, researchers reported new parallels between these two very successful groups of animals and new insights about what it took for an ancient crustacean to give rise to insects.

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