Influential yet unresolved branch points on the Open Tree of Life

polytomy_plot

The visualisation of life at OneZoom.org shows all branch points as a split into two branches. Yet the Open Tree of Life, from whom much of the data is gathered, have many examples of large polytomies, where many branches emerge from a single point. These are almost entirely cases where a large number of species have been classified by taxonomists into a single group (say the ragworts), but where the OpenTree has not incorporated any extra studies that can resolve relationships between species within the group.

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