Comparative zoology is predicated on the assumption of a phylogenetic history. Today, phylogenetics relies on using explicit algorithmical methods to infer the past from features of contemporary species, with the fossil record as the only window to the history of life on our planet. A new field of research, called phylogenomics, uses large numbers of sequences to reconstruct the evolutionary history of organisms. Genomic data may palliate phylogenetic problems caused by sampling effects by expanding the number of characters for comparisons from hundreds to thousands. The congruence of results obtained from various data sets and/or various methods is the key validation of evolutionary inference. The value of morphology to corroborate and understand metazoan phylogeny and body plan evolution is now incontestable. It is the scientific aim of this project to resolve the phylogeny of basal metazoans using a phylogenomic approach and corroborating the results with morphological data of basal animals.
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