Questions on the classification of biological organisms, and the methods used for classifying them.

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What ways are there to determine how big genera are?

I want to look at genera as a whole, across the animal kingdom to determine the range of sizes of genera. I have examined species richness and genetic diversity (pairwise distance from sequence data ...
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1answer
50 views

Why are Oxyuranus snake species named Taipan?

It is interesting, why are Oxyuranus species called Taipan. The snakes are Australian but taipan looks like of Chinese origin word (it means big shot - important person).
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1answer
36 views

How can green algae be both multicellular and unicellular?

How can green algae be both multicellular and unicellular? What are the cases in which it can be both uni and multi cellular?
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1answer
76 views

Evolutionary distance between Canidae, Felidae, and Rodentia

Comparing the families Canidae and Felidae, which have the shorter evolutionary distance to the order Rodentia? Less sophisticatedly put, are cats or dogs more related to rodents?
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1answer
253 views

Can scientists name themselves in the scientific name when they discover a new taxon?

There are sometimes people names in taxonomy, like Myotis keenii was names after Mr. Keen who contributed to discover the species. So, if you discover a species and someone else is constructing the ...
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1answer
27 views

Mammal vs Placental Mammal

So for Google Earth Day's quiz I ended up being a "Pangolin." Turns out I had no idea what it was so I looked into it and honestly it reminded me a lot of an Armadillo. So I decided to find out the ...
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1answer
32 views

Are prosauropods ancestors of all sauropods?

My daughter, while reading a book about dinosaurs, asked me if prosauropods are ancestors of all sauropods. Are they? From the name ("pro-sauropods"), I guess that they are, but am I right?
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1answer
53 views

Relationship between leaf structure and Photosynthesis rate

We can see numerous leaf structures in plant kingdom. As the leaves are designed for photosynthesis, their structure must be a factor for any optimization in photosynthesis or chlorophyll ...
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1answer
31 views

Alternative plant taxonomies to Linneaus

In addition to Linneaus-inspired taxonomies of the botanical world, I suppose there are some other proposals for different kinds of taxonomic accounts, perhaps for specific sub-domains of botany or ...
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1answer
55 views

List of dinosaurs synonyms

Is there a comprehensive list of dinosaurs synonyms with indications of which name is now considered correct? Something like "there's no brontosaurus, there's only Apatosaurus", "there's no ...
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0answers
12 views

More general usage of the term 'congener'

In taxonomy the term 'congener' refers to two species within the same genus. In more colloquial usage, it can refer to any two objects within the same category. Is there a way to refer to related ...
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0answers
34 views

Does Pseudomonas aeruginosa have any common name at all?

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the fifth most written about¹ binomial name of all species. I'm having trouble coming to terms with the possibility that such a well researched and studied organism has never ...
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1answer
269 views

What does x in “Miscanthus × giganteus” name stand for?

I came across a species name that contains "x" in its name, namely Miscanthus × giganteus. What does this symbol stand for and is it commonly used in taxonomic nomenclature?
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1answer
111 views

Is a Ginkgo tree a conifer?

I know Ginkgo is a gymnosperm, but I was wondering whether Ginkgo is also technically a conifer. I did a Google search, and found several confident authoritative-sounding answers. Unfortunately, those ...
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1answer
577 views

Dreadnoughtus: Why are new taxa named using Dog Latin?

Once upon a time, binomial nomenclature was expected to follow Latin rules: the genus had to be a noun and the species had to be an adjective that agreed with the genus according to Latin rules of ...
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0answers
16 views

What are the main principles of the Bacteriological Code?

Although the Bacteriological Code is an important guideline for taxonomists and microbiologists, describing the criteria for delineating species and higher taxa of the prokaryotes, I, and plenty of ...
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1answer
317 views

What is difference between breed, variant, subspecies and species?

What is the difference between breed, variant, sub-species and species? Are there any similarities between sub-species and sub-population of a region?
2
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1answer
68 views

What is actually systematics? What is the difference between it & taxonomy?

In the last century, even during the past decades of the present century, students of systematics could not have thought of any fundamental distinctions among Taxonomy & Systematics . These ...
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0answers
30 views

Endemic plant families on islands?

Endemism on islands is quite a common phenomenon, at least at the level of species or genera. Old continental fragments like Madagascar or New Caledonia may even harbour endemic families which went ...
3
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1answer
58 views

What is the most recent well-attested common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans?

Humans and chimpanzees are related and thus have a most recent common ancestor. Of course pinning down this precise point is essentially impossible, so I'm interested in close ancestors of this most ...
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2answers
470 views

When writing about past research should I use the species name they employed or the modern version?

I am currently writing a literature review in which I am talking about the old research on the subject. When this research was carried out the species I'm talking about were classed under a different ...
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0answers
76 views

Regarding the kingdom Animalia, which phylogenic tree is more common: Molecular Comparisons or Body-Plan Grades

In the picture below, which I obviously do not own: it depicts two different phylogenic trees, one which is based on molecular comparisons and another one which is based on body-plan grades. My ...
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2answers
23 views

Why are there seven entries for Pimpinella dioica in the Catalogue of Life?

And six for Haliclona digitata, and five for Ichneumon varius. A couple of the duplicate entries are synonyms for other species, which is understandable, but most are the "accepted name". Shouldn't ...
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2answers
337 views

19th century Latin species description

While reading a 19th century text of new species description, I'm confused by some Latin phrases. The case here is: Corp. long. 8 poll., caud. 9 poll. I guess 'corp.' and 'long.' are ...
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2answers
103 views

Which species were first described by Charles Darwin?

There are many plants and animals named for the naturalist Charles Darwin, such as Darwin's Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii), but which were named by him? I'm finding it difficult to find such a list.
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1answer
41 views

What makes certain obligate anaerobes viable in fermentation starter cultures?

If Propionibacterium are obligate anaerobes (to wit, poisoned by oxygen), what makes 'Dairy' or classical propionibacteria (e.g. P. shermanii, P. jensenii, P. acidicpropionici, et al) viable in ...
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2answers
530 views

Which phylum appeared most recently

I'm aware that our earliest records of many major animal and plant phyla come from the Cambrian or Precambrian periods, and I'm also vaguely aware of some of the objections raised with general concept ...
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1answer
44 views

What is the smallest known organism with a skeleton? [closed]

See question title. After doing some looking around on my own I haven't found much so I figured I'd ask some experts.
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2answers
77 views

Is the tomato a very very close relative of the pepper?

I ask because if you look at a tomato, the way it grows on a vine, its color, the texture, and make up of its skin and internal structure it seems very much like a pepper. The only thing I can think ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between these terms: clade, monophyletic group and taxon?

Wikipedia definitions for these terms are pretty similar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monophyletic_group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxon They sound like the ...
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1answer
4k views

What is the proper format for genus and species names in latin?

When using the latin nomenclature for a fish in printed materials (such as Sander vitreus for walleye), what is the correct capitalization of each word? In this example, should 'S' be uppercase ...
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1answer
63 views

Usage of the taxonomic classification “Pinnipedia”

According to ITIS the classification Pinnipedia is invalid, and it is proposed to rather use Caniformia. The later group however includes a range of terrestrial animals as opposed to the pinnipeds ...
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2answers
36 views

Could alpha-numeric taxonomy of fungi make things simpler?

Please feel free to construe this question broadly--I don't see why the question would not apply to branches of biology other than mycology. If the goal of taxonomy is to create classification of ...
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1answer
152 views

What insect is this..?

Can anyone tell me what kind of insect (if it is one) is this...!! Or is it the pupa of some insect? Well I don't think that the whole big thing is the insect itself, it appears to be just a kind of ...
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1answer
42 views

Meaning of the word Oleracea

What does "oleracea", as appears in numerous plant species (scientific) names, mean? Examples: Euterpa oleracea, Brassica oleracea, Portulaca oleracea, Acmella oleracea, Spilanthes oleracea.
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1answer
80 views

How to determine whether a newly discovered dinosaur is not a young one and not an entirely different species?

Every once in a while, there is an official announce that a new species has been discovered. For example, paleontologists have recently discovered a dinosaur they named Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, which ...
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2answers
419 views

Why is Portuguese man o' war considered a colony?

The wikipedia entry on the Portuguese man o' war says: ... the Portuguese man o' war is ... not actually a single multicellular organism but a colonial organism made up of many highly specialized ...
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3answers
526 views

How many (taxonomic) families are there?

Approximately, how many families have been identified? I've often often come across figures for the total number of species on Earth. Recently, I found myself wondering about the encompassing ranks ...
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1answer
258 views

Birds and Dinosaurs

This came up in an argument with some friends. I know that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs, shown pretty clearly through the fossil record. However, is it proper to say that birds are ...
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5answers
5k views

Do humans have enough biological differences to be grouped into races or subspecies?

After my online research on the subject, I learnt that, biologically speaking, many scientists believe that there is no such thing as a race. Homo sapiens as a species is only 200,000 years old, which ...
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1answer
50 views

Citing species in a biology article

My question concern the abbreviation of the genus of a species. I talk about two species: Amphiprion clarkii and Amphiprion perideraion. Question 1 Let's assume I haven't said a word about these ...
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3answers
89 views

Is there a downloadable list of all species along with their traditional classification?

I'm looking for a downloadable list of all known (or better said, online documented) species in this straightforward format, as an example the European Frog: Kingdom: Animalia Division: Chordata ...
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1answer
88 views

How can this bird be identified? Can someone please identify this bird?

These photographs have been taken in Warora, India. Could someone please help identify this bird?
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1answer
316 views

Are wild cats the same species as house cats?

I thought that the definition of species is "can interbreed" From Wikipedia: The wildcat (Felis silvestris) is a small cat found throughout most of Africa, Europe, and southwest and central ...
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1answer
457 views

Family tree for edible plants?

I am looking for a family tree for plants, particularly veg / herbs / fruit. Something similar to: If it could be slightly less technical than all the Latin ...
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2answers
2k views

Are mature RBCs prokaryotic?

Mature mammalian RBCs have all the characteristics of a eukaryotic cell except that they don't have a nucleus, they don't have any cell organelles. Does this mean that RBCs are classified as ...
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2answers
527 views

Goats are so fearless but sheep are not. Is there any genetic difference responsible?

As you see in the picture goats (not only wild goats) are so fearless, but I never saw any sheep do this. What is the source of this difference in behavior?
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6answers
2k views

Why isn't a virus “alive”?

The recent news about a new supermassive virus being discovered got me thinking. What biological differences between viruses and cellular organisms have made viruses be deemed non-living?
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1answer
34 views

Information and image of Genus Acesina

I am searching for image and information, like distribution etc of the genus Acesina. The Taxonomic tree is: ...
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3answers
1k views

Polymorphism in cnidarians?

To me, the phenomenon of polymorphism in cnidarians is particularly troubling. I gather that it essentially refers to existence of various different forms or kinds of individuals, i.e. zooids and ...