I am confused about the terms "taxa" and "taxon". In one video lecture it is said that

Dolphins represent taxa at a very low level, while fish has a litter higher level of taxa than dolphins and once again animals are at higher level of taxa.

Dolphins exist in forms of various sizes so it will represent taxa. I have considered taxa to be the taxonomic group when it combines together.

In the definition of taxonomy, why is this taxa a suitable word for this while not taxon in both the statements?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE. I did not read the whole post as I got bored midway through by the format. Can you please capitalize your "i" and use correct spacing (space after comas, dots and interrogation marks but not before). I don't get all your "Sir" in your question. Is it to be polite? It is likely that a woman would answer the question. Do not use all these please and sir. Don't beg for us to answer. Just ask your question straight. Also please use paragraphs. You can have a look at other posts in this website to take example for the format. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Dec 2 '16 at 6:00
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    $\begingroup$ It is indeed very off-putting to see sir so many times. Ultimately though, I have no idea what the question is (and I did read it to the end)! This is beyond editorial help. $\endgroup$ – James Dec 2 '16 at 7:18
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    $\begingroup$ Do thorough google search or read an introductory Zoology book to form a clear concept of taxonomy. $\endgroup$ – Tyto alba Dec 2 '16 at 7:23
  • $\begingroup$ @GH05T seems to have made a very good effort at editing the question! Well done, but it seems that the question is merely about semantics, and would still be considered off topic in most cases. $\endgroup$ – James Dec 2 '16 at 7:33
  • $\begingroup$ Taxa is the plural form of taxon. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Dec 6 '16 at 8:14

From wikipedia

In biology, a taxon (plural taxa; back-formation from taxonomy) is a group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms seen by taxonomists to form a unit

So, in short

  1. Taxon is a synonym of taxonomic group

  2. Taxa is the plural of taxon. Therefore, taxa is a synonym of taxonomic groups

You say one taxon but two taxa. While most words in english takes an s in plural, some have an irregular plural. Here are some examples drawn form the field of biology (and data science in general):

Regular plural

  • adaptation / adaptations
  • finger / fingers
  • cell / cells
  • flower / flowers

Irregular plural

  • nucleus / nuclei
  • cactus / cacti
  • stimulus / stimuli
  • fungus / fungi
  • analysis / analyses
  • diagnosis / diagnoses
  • hypothesis / hypotheses
  • louse / lice
  • mouse / mice
  • bacterium / bacteria
  • genus / genera
  • offspring / offspring
  • tooth / teeth
  • gouse / geese
  • vertebra / vertebrae
  • taxon / taxa

The video you linked

I had a very quick look at the video and I understand you are getting confused.

From 1:50 to 3:30 the author of the video repeatedly makes the false statement that dolphins are fish! No, dolphins are not fishes!! Also, the author of the video seems to be very confused about the difference between the terms taxon and clade. It is probably the worst educative video I have ever seen! Please don't trust them.

For more information about related terms, please have a look at What is the difference between these terms: clade, monophyletic group and taxon?.

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    $\begingroup$ Besides I would like to add that Original Poster should look up wikipedia when stuck with anything instead of watching youtube lectures with are seldom faultless. @RKhan $\endgroup$ – Tyto alba Dec 3 '16 at 5:20
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent answer. I use to give Greek and Latin classes to my biology students, and they were always amazed when I said that in Greek we can have up to 15 different plurals (5 cases, 3 declinations, giving 5*3) and that in Latin we can have up to 30 different plurals (6 cases, 5 declinations, giving 6*5). Curiously, in Greek, taxis (row, order, arrangement) has the nominative plural taxeis. Very different from "taxon"/"taxa". $\endgroup$ – user24284 Dec 4 '16 at 13:04

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