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A phylogenetic tree or evolutionary tree is a branching diagram that shows the inferred evolutionary relationships among various biological species or other entities-their phylogeny-based upon similarities and differences in their physical or genetic characteristics. A phylogenetic tree, also known as a phylogeny, is a diagram that depicts the lines of evolutionary descent of different species, organisms, or genes from a common ancestor. Phylogenies are useful for organizing knowledge of biological diversity, for structuring classifications, and for providing insight into events that occurred during evolution. Furthermore, because these trees show descent from a common ancestor, and because much of the strongest evidence for evolution comes in the form of common ancestry, one must understand phylogenies in order to fully appreciate the overwhelming evidence supporting the theory of evolution.