polytomy


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polytomy

(pə-lĭt′ə-mē)
n.
In a cladogram, a point from which two or more new branches diverge, representing either of two cases:
a. A multiple speciation event in which two or more species diverge from the same ancestor. Also called hard polytomy.
b. A speciation event in which two or more species are presumed to descend from the same ancestor, but the order of speciation is unknown. Also called soft polytomy.