A cladogram is an evolutionary tree showing the relationships between closely related species.

It is created by tracing the evolutionary history of a particular trait and noting which species share that trait.

The resulting diagram looks like a branching tree, with each branch representing a particular lineage.

Cladograms can be used to track the evolution of specific genes or to study how different features have evolved in different lineages.

They are also helpful for understanding how taxonomy works – the way that species are grouped and named. This is a fun DY project- if you like animals, try these DIY birdhouses, DIY birdfeeders, or for some zany fun build some DIY cardboard armor.

DIY Cladogram Plans

1. AP Science Style Cladogram

Have you ever seen an animal and wondered how it is related to other animals? With a cladogram, you can create your own family tree of animals. A cladogram is a diagram that shows the evolutionary relationships between different species of animals. You can create one by using information from a variety of sources, such as online databases and books. By creating your own cladogram, you can learn about the evolutionary history of different species and better understand how they are related to one another.

2. Excel Style Cladogram

A cladogram is a diagram that illustrates the evolutionary relationship between different species. Cladograms are often used to determine how closely different species are related. They can also be used to identify which species share a common ancestor. In order to create a cladogram, scientists use genetic data or physical characteristics to construct a tree-like diagram. The closer two species are on the cladogram, the more closely they are related.

3. Colorful Cladogram
How To Make A Cladogram
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When you hear the word “cladogram,” what comes to mind? A diagram used by scientists to organize and better understand the evolutionary relationships between species? If so, that’s exactly what we’re going to make today! Unlike a phylogenetic tree, which can be quite complex, cladograms are relatively simple and easy to construct. Let’s get started!

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Step by step cladogram DIY guide

Step 1: Materials

Only two things are needed to make a cladogram:

  • A computer with the ability to access Google Images.
  • This template

Before we proceed, let’s familiarize ourselves with some basic definitions:

Species: While there is no universally accepted definition of species, species in phylogenetics can roughly be defined as populations of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

Phylogeny: Phylogeny is the evolutionary history of a group of organisms or taxa. It represents our best attempt at reconstructing how these groups are related to each other based on available data.

Cladogram: A cladogram is a phylogenetic tree that attempts to show the evolutionary history of a group of organisms. In other words, it shows how species are related to each other on the “tree of life.”

Step 2: Make the cladogram

There are two ways you can make a cladogram: manually or using an online program. We recommend using an online program like DrawBot because it’s free, easy to use, and browser-based (does not require downloading). Other alternatives include PHYLIPand Mesquite.

We will provide you with guidelines on how to make a cladogram using DrawBot below:

  • Once the template is open, upload an image of your choice into DrawBot by clicking “Choose File” then dragging and dropping your image into the workspace. You can adjust the transparency of each layer using the slider at the top right of the screen.
  • Create three layers: one for taxa names, one for inter-taxon edges (branches), and one for tips (terminal nodes). The first becomes a legend/key, and the second creates the branches, and the third labels each branch.
  •  Name your layers, then put your taxa names inside Layer 1 by typing them into the text box at the top left of the screen. You can adjust where you want to place your text with 3D controls in DrawBot by clicking on Layer 1 and using the 3D Controls to move it up and down.
  • Label each branch on your cladogram by typing its name into Layer 2, dragging and dropping your branches as desired. You can use 3D controls as before to adjust where you want them to appear. Finally, type in the names of your tips (terminal nodes) in Layer 3.
  •  Once your cladogram is complete, you can add it to a publication, presentation slide, research paper, etc., by copying and pasting each layer into an image editor such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe Illustrator.
  • Remember that you must provide a legend for others to understand what your cladogram represents.
  • You can add a legend by typing your taxa names and their evolutionary relationships into Layer 1 in the correct order, and in a way that shows this information is not redundant (i.e., there cannot be two species named “Species A,” for example).
  • Save your final product. Once it is saved, you can email it to your lab supervisor or use the work for publication.

If you do not know what each symbol represents in DrawBot when creating your cladogram, please check out the template. If you cannot access Google Images or run into other problems using DrawBot, please consult their help page. They have a wide selection of images you can use for free from their public domain and more detailed instructions on how to make a cladogram.

Step 3: Understand the results

In some cases, your cladogram may not make sense. This is where it’s important to understand what a phylogenetic tree represents. In other words, how a group of organisms is related to a “tree of life.”

A cladogram shows only the most economical solution for a given set of taxa. In other words, a cladogram shows the evolutionary history to minimize changes. In this sense, it does not show all possible scenarios of lineage determination from a common ancestor since it only tells how each species is most likely determined from one another.

Suppose two or more branches end in an unresolved polytomy (i.e., two or more equally parsimonious options exist for where the taxa at the tips of that branch are determined relationships). In that case, you may have to ask yourself why this is.

For example, this could be because there are different groups within a species with slightly different characteristics, making it hard to determine its exact to other members of that species (e.g., the location of the nose stud). This is where it’s important to keep in mind that there are gaps in our understanding of evolutionary relatedness between taxa.

The tips on your cladogram should be labeled according to common names, but you can also give them their scientific names (i.e., the genus name, species name). If you are doing a project about an organism in the lab, it is important to note that your genus and species names should be italicized. For example, “Xenopus laevis.”

Xenopus laevis specifically refers to the type specimen of Xenopus laevis. Specimens can vary, so you have to be aware of this. Additionally, the names of the taxa that are being compared should be italicized or underlined. For example, “Xenopus laevis” compared with “Xenopus tropicalis.”

The common name is not necessarily needed if you are doing a project about an organism in the lab. If you do not know the common name, stick with scientific names.


Cladograms are an important class of diagrams used in Biology. A cladogram is a branching diagram showing the evolutionary relationships among various species on the tree of life.

When you start learning phylogenetics, one of the first things you will learn is to make a cladogram showing evolutionary relations among some organisms. While it sounds cool at first, the method of making a cladogram isn’t always straightforward. In this article, we will discuss the step-by-step guide to making a cladogram.

Making a cladogram is a way to show the evolutionary relationships between certain organisms. To make a good cladogram, it’s important to remember the above steps and the concepts of parsimony, implicit ancestor-descendant relationships, and polytomies.

Once you have created a cladogram that displays accurate information about the evolutionary relationships between certain organisms, it is possible to add this onto a publication slide, research paper, etc., by copying and pasting each layer into an image editor such as Microsoft Paint.

Scientists often use this image to summarize the results of their phylogenetic studies.