Inferring the historical patterns of biological evolution

Nature. 1999 Oct 28;401(6756):877-84. doi: 10.1038/44766.


Phylogenetic trees describe the pattern of descent amongst a group of species. With the rapid accumulation of DNA sequence data, more and more phylogenies are being constructed based upon sequence comparisons. The combination of these phylogenies with powerful new statistical approaches for the analysis of biological evolution is challenging widely held beliefs about the history and evolution of life on Earth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Mammals
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Orthomyxoviridae / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Ribonucleases / genetics


  • Proteins
  • Ribonucleases