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Part of the Dinosaurs: Activities and Lesson Plans Curriculum Collection.
At the American Museum of Natural History, scientists use a method called cladistics to group animals. They look for unique features, such as a hole in the hip socket, that the animals share. Animals with like features are grouped together. A chart, called a cladogram, shows these relationships. Using cladistics, scientists can reconstruct genealogical relationships and can show how animals are linked to one another through a long and complex history of evolutionary changes.
In this activity, students will explore cladistics and create a cladogram of their own.