[pol-ee-fahy-let-ik] /ˌpɒl i faɪˈlɛt ɪk/

developed from more than one ancestral type, as a group of animals.
(biology) relating to or characterized by descent from more than one ancestral group of animals or plants

polyphyletic pol·y·phy·let·ic (pŏl’ē-fī-lět’ĭk)

pol’y·phy’le·tism (-fī’lĭ-tĭz’əm) n.
Relating to a taxonomic group that does not include the common ancestor of the members of the group and whose members have two or more separate origins. A group that consists of flying vertebrates would be polyphyletic, as bats and birds independently evolved flight and do not share a common ancestor. Compare monophyletic, paraphyletic.


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