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

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4
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1answer
43 views

Best methodology to compare computed phylogeny tree with taxonomy?

I have computed a phylogenetic tree using an alignement of sequences, and I would like to : Compare it to the "known" taxonomy (uniprot/ncbi which I know is not the most up to date one) and extract ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

An unexpected mushroom in my garden

My grandma is a great fan of mushrooms and knows quite a lot about them. About 10 years ago, she started throwing out mushroom remnants in one special place, in order to grow her own mushrooms. In ...
3
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2answers
354 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 ...
3
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1answer
601 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

If birds are dinosaurs, then are mammals reptiles?

I'm just curious - it seems generally accepted that birds are dinosaurs. If that's the case, then can we call all mammals reptiles? Can we go even further and call humans amphibians? And since ...
3
votes
2answers
213 views

Why are sponges sometimes not considered multicellular?

I read somewhere (I can't find where) that there is no scientific consensus whether sponges should be considered multicellular organisms. It seems I don't understand where is the line between ...
3
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1answer
42 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 ...
3
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1answer
73 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
327 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?
3
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4answers
292 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 ...
3
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2answers
172 views

What is the species of these mushrooms?

The mushrooms are gilled with a light-brown cap. The stem is widened to the base. What species is it? Is it considered edible? They are found in mixed forest in Moscow, Russia. They grow in the ...
3
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
3
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1answer
69 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
208 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
18k views

Why are bacteria and archaea in different domains?

As I understand it, the main difference between the Bacteria and the Eucaryota domains are that eukaryotes have a nucleus and bacteria don't. I understand that bacteria and archaebacteria have enough ...
2
votes
1answer
385 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?
2
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
2
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1answer
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
203 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).
2
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
2
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1answer
183 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.
2
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1answer
264 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 ...
2
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1answer
2k 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
75 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 ...
2
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1answer
18 views

Anemiaceae etymology

What is the etymology of the name Anemiaceae for a family of ferns? I assume that it's from the name Anemia for one of its genera, but that is equally mysterious. Obviously it has no blood, but what ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

How to correctly and accurately identify a few species of trees from their leaves(including multiple leaves and part of the branch)?

I want to identify a tree from one of the 12 species listed based on observing their branch and leaves. Is there quick and neat way to do it? Red Oak, White Oak, Red Maple, Striped Maple, Tulip ...
2
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1answer
39 views

Clarification about taxon (plural taxa)

If i am right, then any category placed at any rank in the taxonomical hierarchy is a taxon. For example Panthera, Mammalia, Solanaceae etc. But are general group of organism (casual groups which are ...
2
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1answer
350 views

What is the difference between taxonomical aids Flora, Manual and Catalogue?

The three type of books mentioned above are taxonomical aids that offer information about species found in an area. However, the exact difference between them is not clear to me. Please explain.
2
votes
1answer
212 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 ...
2
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0answers
29 views

Why are bovines different genera if they can interbreed?

Why are bovinae a "subfamily", above Genus, when members can interbreed? Some like the beefalo are fertile, which is the normal defining characteristic of a species. And Genus are groups more ...
2
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0answers
35 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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2answers
1k views

What is the most complex plant form?

At school we were told on scale of 0 through 1000 the animal kingdom ranges from amoeba the simplest/primitive being at 0, and Humans the most complex animals at 1000; what are the equivalent ...
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2answers
98 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
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1answer
637 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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2answers
4k 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
30 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 ...
1
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1answer
72 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 ...
1
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2answers
47 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 ...
1
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2answers
69 views

Etymology of the term monilophyte

I would like to know the origin of the term Monilophyta. I know it's from Kenrick and Crane, but where did they get monilo-? It's not in my enormous Liddell and Scott Greek dictionary, nor is there ...
1
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1answer
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
191 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 ...
1
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1answer
93 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
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1answer
45 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 ...
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0answers
24 views

What is the scientific name of Japan's (other) national flower, the chrysanthemum?

In my notes, I had Japan's royal chrysanthemum listed as Chrysanthemum japanense, but I just discovered that name has either been retired or it was never valid to begin with. (Or did I just misspell ...
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0answers
27 views

Protostomia classification and characteristics

While working through a practice test for my final exam in an introductory organism biology course, I came across this question: Protostome characteristics include which of the following? a) a ...
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0answers
18 views

Machine-readable APG III trees?

Does anyone know where I can find a machine-readable version of the phylogenetic trees from APG III? I'm looking for something that contains the full tree structure, including unnamed branches. ...
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0answers
7 views

Difference on biological classification [duplicate]

Why we use term phylum for kingdom animali and use them division for kingdom planti ,prokaryota and fungi? Both are same taxanomical rank What difference between phylum and division ??
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0answers
6 views

Where should one start if they want to go about identifying phytoplankton and dinoflagellates?

I'm a first year university student and I really need help on how to identify and recognize the different organisms observed in my water samples. Are there any good references/tips on how to?
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0answers
175 views

Why are hybrid offspring mostly sterile? [closed]

Hybrid infertility is a common trait in cross-species offspring. Most are sterile, as they do not produce viable gametes. Examples of this can include Ligers and Mules. Could modern advancement in ...
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0answers
19 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 ...