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

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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
22 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
322 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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0answers
29 views

Is there a classification of species based on number of different cell types?

The human body has around 200 different types of cells, according to my brief internet research. How does that compare to other species? Is there a classification of species based on that, i.e. number ...
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2answers
67 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
34 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
498 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
32 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
57 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
192 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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0answers
41 views

What observations would confirm or refute that an Nanobe is a living organism?

No conclusive evidence exists that Nanobe structures are, or are not, living organisms, so their classification is controversial. What observations would confirm or refute that an Nanobe is a living ...
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1answer
32 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
33 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
122 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
26 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
62 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
216 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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1answer
217 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
142 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
3k 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, because Homo sapiens species is only 200,000 years old, ...
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1answer
48 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
75 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
71 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
210 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
362 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
785 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
498 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
30 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
950 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 ...
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2answers
364 views

Why is a slow worm not considered a snake?

Slow worms are considered lizards as opposed to snakes, both are reptiles. Now I get that there are traits that distinguish them (eye lids, ears ...). But snake species themselves vary already quite a ...
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2answers
821 views

How many species did Carl Linnaeus classify?

How many species did Carl Linnaeus (senior) classify?
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1answer
146 views

If life is discovered on another planet, will it likely be classified using the current domain/kingdom/phylum system?

This may be a stupid question showing my lack of understanding of taxonomy, but I was wondering if the current classification system we use contains broad enough categories to include new life forms, ...
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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1answer
122 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 ...
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2answers
144 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 ...
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2answers
553 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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6answers
1k views

Human evolution: Where *exactly* did the first human come from, whose parents were not?

Layman here. So I have never really quite understood this facet of human evolution, (or any other for that matter), in that, I understand the evolutionary process, but I get lost on the 'border' ...
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3answers
2k views

When has an organism evolved enough to be called a new species?

Imagine that we take a population of horses, split them in half and place them in completely different environments. The two species will evolve separate from each other and because the environment is ...
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1answer
322 views

Is sexual reproduction outside the same biological family possible? Has it ever occured successfully?

Are there any examples of two species taxonomically classified in different biological families that have successfully hybridized and produced viable offspring? If not, is there an example of where ...
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2answers
1k views

Online course on Plant Taxonomy and Physiology

After following a course in Permaculture, I realised that if I want to get serious about it, I need to be able to distinguish plants. So I am looking for an online Video course on Plant Taxonomy and ...
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2answers
1k views

Why animals can move and plants cannot in general?

To clarify, I think the answer should be able to explain: What are animals? What are plants? What's the difference between animals and plants (How do biologists differentiate them, if they ...
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1answer
1k views

Does the use of “var”, “x”, and/or “ssp” in a scientific name provide specific information?

What exactly does it mean when a plant has a scientific name that specifies a vairety, for example Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides, or when the name includes an "x", as in Populus ...
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1answer
790 views

What's the opposite of a thermophile?

Thermophiles, heat-loving organisms, have been a popular topic of research for decades due in large part to the utility of their enzymes in various chemical reactions (Taq Pol single-enzymedly made ...
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2answers
349 views

What does the 34/70 in Saccharomyces pastorianus Weihenstephan 34/70 stand for?

I've searched everywhere. No Wikipedia page. No information on NCBI. I searched all occurrences of 34/70 in some primary research articles! The best I've found is this brewery forum where someone ...
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3answers
1k views

Species with reproduction barriers that can both reproduce with a third species

To start with, I do not have a sound knowledge in biology or any formal education in the area. I was told that one of the definition of a species is a reproductive barrier, which means that if two ...
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1answer
117 views

On which date did the official name change of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis change?

When did the change of official name from Lactobacillus sanfrancisco to Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis happen? An answer ((to the exact day OR within a few days) AND the name of the conference at ...
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1answer
103 views

To which distinctions does the term “hymenoptera” refer?

Hymenoptera is an order of insects that includes bees, ants, and wasps. A quick search gives the following etymological analysis of the term hymenoptera. hymen (membrane) + pteron (wing) Does ...
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2answers
142 views

How to decide which is the correct scientific name for a particular species

To start with, I am not a person having sound knowledge in biology. When I started my search for phyto-chemicals in a particular family in the plant kingdom, I got confused. The scientific papers use ...
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1answer
165 views

Is it correct to regard archeaic humans (i.e.n Neanderthals and Denisovans) as distinct species to Homo sapiens?

There is increasing evidence (e.g. here) that Homo sapiens interbred with contemporary homonins such as Homo neanderthalensis and the "Denisovans". Although these homonins do show differences in their ...