Common descent

common ancestorcommon ancestryapical ancestorcommon ancestorsdescentshared ancestryancestordescendsame originuniversal common descent
Common descent describes how, in evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share a most recent common ancestor.wikipedia
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Evolutionary biology

evolutionary biologistevolutionary biologistsevolutionary
Common descent describes how, in evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share a most recent common ancestor.
Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolutionary processes (natural selection, common descent, speciation) that produced the diversity of life on Earth.

Evidence of common descent

evidence for evolutionevidence of evolutionevidence for biological evolution
There is massive evidence of common descent of all life on Earth from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA).
Evidence of common descent of living organisms has been discovered by scientists researching in a variety of disciplines over many decades, demonstrating that all life on Earth comes from a single ancestor.

Most recent common ancestor

last common ancestorcommon ancestorrecent common ancestor
Common descent describes how, in evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share a most recent common ancestor.
In biology and genealogy, the most recent common ancestor (MRCA, also last common ancestor (LCA), or concestor) of any set of organisms is the most recent individual from which all the organisms from such set are directly descended.

Last universal common ancestor

last universal ancestorLUCAa single common ancestor
There is massive evidence of common descent of all life on Earth from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA).
The last universal common ancestor (LUCA), also called the last universal ancestor (LUA), or concestor, is the most recent population of organisms from which all organisms now living on Earth have a common descent, the most recent common ancestor of all current life on Earth.

Timeline of the evolutionary history of life

Timeline of evolutionhistory of lifeevolutionary development
The most recent common ancestor of all currently living organisms is the last universal ancestor, which lived about 3.9 billion years ago.
The similarities between all present day organisms indicate the presence of a common ancestor from which all known species, living and extinct, have diverged through the process of evolution.

Life

livinglife on Earthbiota
There is massive evidence of common descent of all life on Earth from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA).
All known life forms share fundamental molecular mechanisms, reflecting their common descent; based on these observations, hypotheses on the origin of life attempt to find a mechanism explaining the formation of a universal common ancestor, from simple organic molecules via pre-cellular life to protocells and metabolism.

Charles Darwin

DarwinDarwinianCharles Robert Darwin
Universal common descent through an evolutionary process was first proposed by the British naturalist Charles Darwin in the concluding sentence of his 1859 book On the Origin of Species:
His proposition that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors is now widely accepted, and considered a foundational concept in science.

On the Origin of Species

The Origin of SpeciesOrigin of SpeciesOn the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
Universal common descent through an evolutionary process was first proposed by the British naturalist Charles Darwin in the concluding sentence of his 1859 book On the Origin of Species:
It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution.

Organism

organismsflora and faunaliving organisms
Common descent describes how, in evolutionary biology, a group of organisms share a most recent common ancestor.
The last universal common ancestor (LUCA) is the most recent organism from which all organisms now living on Earth descend.

Genetics

geneticgeneticistgenetically
All currently living organisms on Earth share a common genetic heritage, though the suggestion of substantial horizontal gene transfer during early evolution has led to questions about the monophyly (single ancestry) of life.
The evolutionary distances between species can be used to form evolutionary trees; these trees represent the common descent and divergence of species over time, although they do not show the transfer of genetic material between unrelated species (known as horizontal gene transfer and most common in bacteria).

Pseudogene

pseudogenespseudogenizationpseudo genes
Similarly, shared nucleotide sequences, especially where these are apparently neutral such as the positioning of introns and pseudogenes, provide strong evidence of common ancestry.
This is due to a pseudogene's shared ancestry with a functional gene: in the same way that Darwin thought of two species as possibly having a shared common ancestry followed by millions of years of evolutionary divergence, a pseudogene and its associated functional gene also share a common ancestor and have diverged as separate genetic entities over millions of years.

Intron

intronsintragenicintronic
Similarly, shared nucleotide sequences, especially where these are apparently neutral such as the positioning of introns and pseudogenes, provide strong evidence of common ancestry.
Since eukaryotes arose from a common ancestor (common descent), there must have been extensive gain or loss of introns during evolutionary time.

Earth

Earth's surfaceterrestrialworld
There is massive evidence of common descent of all life on Earth from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA).

Gene

genesnumber of genesgene sequence
In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the LUCA by comparing the genomes of the three domains of life, archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

Genome

genomesgenetic materialgenomic
In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the LUCA by comparing the genomes of the three domains of life, archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

Domain (biology)

domaindomainsdomains of life
In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the LUCA by comparing the genomes of the three domains of life, archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

Archaea

archaeonarcheaarchaebacteria
In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the LUCA by comparing the genomes of the three domains of life, archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

Bacteria

bacteriumbacterialEubacteria
In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the LUCA by comparing the genomes of the three domains of life, archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

Eukaryote

Eukaryotaeukaryoticeukaryotes
In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the LUCA by comparing the genomes of the three domains of life, archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

Species

specificspecific epithetspecific name
Common ancestry between organisms of different species arises during speciation, in which new species are established from a single ancestral population.

Speciation

divergedspeciatedspeciate
Common ancestry between organisms of different species arises during speciation, in which new species are established from a single ancestral population.

Graphite

graphiticblack leadplumbago
The two earliest evidences for life on Earth are graphite found to be biogenic in 3.7 billion-year-old metasedimentary rocks discovered in western Greenland and microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia.

Biogenic substance

biogenicbiogeneticabiogenic
The two earliest evidences for life on Earth are graphite found to be biogenic in 3.7 billion-year-old metasedimentary rocks discovered in western Greenland and microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia.

Greenland

Kalaallit NunaatGreenlandicGL
The two earliest evidences for life on Earth are graphite found to be biogenic in 3.7 billion-year-old metasedimentary rocks discovered in western Greenland and microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia.

Microbial mat

microbial matsbacterial matsdeath mask
The two earliest evidences for life on Earth are graphite found to be biogenic in 3.7 billion-year-old metasedimentary rocks discovered in western Greenland and microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia.