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

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4
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1answer
25 views

Identifying flying insect from northern Poland / Baltic Sea area

Found during this year vacations at Baltic Sea (northern parts of Poland): I don't have a picture containing other object, for size verification, but I'd say, that it was 3-4 cm long. There were ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Why do we spend so much time on creating taxonomies? [closed]

I spent 3 years building a taxonomic database of plant specimens for the Missouri Botanical Gardens (http://www.tropicos.org/). Myself and two other programmers used a modern database and web pages to ...
0
votes
1answer
16 views

What is the difference between Ostracodermi and Placodermi

I looked the word origin and found Placodermi is PLATE SKINNED while Ostracodermi is Shell Skinned. Can you please explain the difference between being Plate skinned and Shell skinned?
6
votes
3answers
81 views

Insect identification: white spotted beetle

3 pairs of legs, a pair of antenna, wings absent, compound eye, 4-6 centimeter approx. in size. I found this beetle at my door, in Pune, India.
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Difference between Category, Rank and Taxon

Is there any differences between the terms Category, Rank and Taxon or they all are same? I remember an explanation which goes on like this: Category and Rank are the same and are the categories of ...
5
votes
2answers
619 views

Colourful aquatic animal identification

Of what species is the following creature? I expect it would be a Cephalopod living in not too deep water with a tropical climate (Brazil?). However, I can not find any information about what ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

What is the scientific name of this evergreen plant?

This plant is found in India. It is an evergreen plant. Would love to know the scientific name.
3
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1answer
34 views

Application of Latin names for Taxonomy

The current taxonomy has family names like Canidae and Felidae. But Felidae has sub families like Felinae and Pantherinae. Roaring cats and non-roaring cats. My question is based on the fact that we ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Characters do not make the genus, but the genus gives the characters?

In his Origin of species, in the chapter entitled 'Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology: Embryology: Rudimentary Organs', Darwin, speaking of the nature of classification systems of living ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Can all animals of the same species crossbreed?

For example, take Canis lupus, the species of dog and wolf. Within their species, can all dog and wolf types crossbreed? We can forget the logistics and assume this is all done through artificial ...
10
votes
1answer
506 views

What is the scientific name of this plant?

I found this one on a hill here in Palestine. It's about 20 cm in height. Note that it does exist in this regions, but scantily.
4
votes
0answers
24 views

How do we know that ammonites are a kind of cephalopod rather than another type of mollusc?

On a recent fossil hunting trip, I found a small fossil that an expert identified for me as an ammonite beak. He told me such fossils are not uncommon, but are not normally found with their parent ...
5
votes
2answers
59 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
87 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).
0
votes
1answer
52 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?
2
votes
1answer
165 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?
9
votes
1answer
321 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
37 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?
2
votes
1answer
64 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
37 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
64 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
15 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
286 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?
4
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
607 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
18 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
574 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
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
34 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
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
484 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
166 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
27 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
343 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
119 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.
2
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
546 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
54 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.
2
votes
2answers
100 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
68 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
39 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
54 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.
6
votes
1answer
84 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
507 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
671 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 ...