Definition of Monophyletic Group

A monophyletic group is a group of organisms that belong to the same taxon and are descended from the same ancestor. This group includes all the descendants of that recent ancestor. We are able to study the past and present of a number of organisms and their relationship with each other by classifying the organisms on the basis of their biological diversity and evolutionary history.


The relationships of organisms are depicted in the form of a phylogenetic tree which is also known as a cladogram.  Examples of the monophyletic group include mammals, birds and insects.

View More Genetics Definitions