You Are A Fish

We built the Tree of Life Explorer! Check it out here:
And watch our video about why we made it:

With our current understanding of evolutionary history and our strategy of cladistic naming, if we wanted to have both goldfish and sharks under a single group called “fish”, then mammals must also be called fish.

Thanks also to our Patreon patrons and our YouTube members.


To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
– Phylogenetic tree: a branching diagram or “tree” showing the evolutionary relationships among various biological species
– Cladogram: a diagram used in cladistics to show relations among organisms
– Monophyletic group (or clade): a group of organisms that consists of all the descendants of a common ancestor
– Paraphyletic group: all of the descendants of a common ancestor minus one or more monophyletic groups
– Similarity trap: people can name different species the same thing, only to find out they aren’t even closely related. We made a video about this phenomana:

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Script Writer: Jasper Palfree
Script Editor: David Goldenberg
Video Illustrator: Sarah Berman
Video Director: Ever Salazar
Video Narrator: Ever Salazar & Jasper Palfree
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:


Weinstein, Bret (2016). On Being a Fish. Inference, Volume 2, Issue 3 September.

Lahti, David (2016). An Ambivalent Amphibian (In response to “On Being a Fish”). Volume 2, Issue 4

Podani, János (2013). Tree thinking, time and topology:
Comments on the interpretation of tree diagrams in
evolutionary/phylogenetic systematics. Cladistics Volume 29, Issue 3. May

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