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Can someone please give me some tips or help me build a cladogram from the following table of information? The outgroup is Lancelets and the first derived character is vertebrae, followed by Lampreys and jaws I believe. It's not until after jaws I have trouble figuring out where to link up the organisms and traits. I'm assuming you cannot repeat or remove traits. When I look online the simpler examples do not help me much for this branching issue… I hope that made sense. It's probably simpler then I think but I'm having a mental block with it. Any help would be great, thanks
I think the clue is at each step to look for the trait that is shared by most of the remaining taxa.
In your example: 9 out of 10 taxa are vertebrae. So you are correct to pick this trait first and outgroup Lancelets.
Looking at the remaining 9 taxa: 8 have jaws, and a different set of 8 swim bladders or lungs At this point you can pick one of those traits, as far as I know. You chose jaws and outgrouped Lampreys.
In the remaining 8 taxa, the characteristic that is shared by most of them (7), is having swim bladders or lungs. Thus, you can outgroup Sharks here.
In that way, you can go on for the remaining traits and taxa.