File:Phylogenetic tree.svg

The phylogenetic tree to the left shows where buffleheads are in the grand scheme of all organisms.  It shows the three domains: bacteria, archaea, and eukarya.  Buffleheads are animals in the domain eukarya. Acccording to this tree, one can see that animals are most closely related to the fungi and plantae.  This phylogenetic tree is mainly based on RNA data and is proposed by Carl Woese.

 The phylogenetic tree to the right shows how buffleheads fit in with the excavata, which is a supergroup in the eukarya.  Animals is a lineage located in the excavata.  This tree further shows how the chordata, which include the buffleheads, are in relationship to other animals.  This phylogenetic tree is based on morphological features such as the number of embryonic tissue layers it has (triploblast, diploblast) and whether it is a deurterosome or a protosome.



The phylogenetic tree to the left displays how buffleheads are in relation to other chordates.  From this tree, one can see that the birds, which includes buffleheads, is most closely related to crocodile, lizards, and snakes.  This tree is based off of morphological and molecular evidence.



Bird phylogenetic tree



The phylogenetic tree to the right shows how waterfowl, including buffleheads, is in relation to other birds.  It uses both morphological and molecular aspects to classify modern birds.  The main morphological traits that were used for differentiation were the palette and the ankle bones. The paleognathae birds are mostly the larger flightless birds with a paleognathan palette.  The neognathae are the rest of the modern birds, which are a little smaller and have a smaller palette than birds in the paleognathae group.  To classify the birds in a molecular way, a number of techniques were helpful.  Protein electrophoresis, restriction-fragment-length polymorphisms, DNA hybridzation, and sequencing data were the molecular techniques helpful in determining the relationships amongst birds. From this tree, one can see that buffleheads are most closely related to screamers.



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