Questions tagged [taxonomy]

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

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48
votes
7answers
9k views

Why isn't a virus “alive”?

The recent news about a new supermassive virus being discovered got me thinking about how we define viruses as non-living organisms whilst they are bigger than bacteria, and much more complex than we ...
38
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6answers
49k 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 ...
29
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7answers
6k 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' cases....
11
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2answers
931 views

What insect is this? (India)

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
711 views

What instances are there in which two species share the same binomial name?

Since binomials are required to be unique only within a kingdom, two species can share the same binomial name if they are in different kingdoms. I know of one instance of this, Orestias elegans: this ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Taxonomy: Categorising Collembola [closed]

Observe: In some rows (Order, Family), the third column reveals a discerning physical characteristic or body type (...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a subspecies?

Within a species there may be subspecies that are named using trinomial nomenclautre. For example the Grizzly Bear, Ursus arctos horribilis is a subspecies of the Brown Bear Ursus arctos. The ...
6
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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.
5
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1answer
3k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
15k views

Binomial nomenclature: Why am I seeing different genera with the same species name?

I have looked online but still do not understand how two organisms can have the the same species names but be in different genera? Do all genera share common species names? Also which would be more ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do both the mango and the bee have “Indica” in their binomial name?

In my textbook, it is written that the binomial name of mango is Mangifera indica and the binomial name of a bee is Apis indica. Now in the name the second part is the name of species. But mango and ...
11
votes
3answers
1k 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.
9
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
13k 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?
10
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5answers
11k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Number of families in Animal kingdom

I found this question about how many taxonomic families there are. That made me wonder how many are just in the animal kingdom alone. I want to know about families not species. Now the linked question ...
9
votes
2answers
815 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?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How to correctly and accurately identify a few species of trees from their leaves?

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 ...
10
votes
2answers
209 views

Acknowledging differentiation of species, in historical times

This is at least partly an historical question, and I am not even remotely a biologist of any sort, so apologies beforehand if it's a little obscure. I often wonder how many distinctions were made in ...
8
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2answers
5k views

How many species did Carl Linnaeus classify?

How many species did Carl Linnaeus (senior) classify?
5
votes
2answers
198 views

Did Carl Linnaeus ever name a species he never saw?

According to this post Carl Linnaeus named more than 13,000 species which is definitely quite impressive. If we consider a 50 years career it makes about 5 species per week! It would feel impressive ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Where can I find the common names for the zoology taxonomy?

Forgive me if my question does not belong here or if I'm using incorrect terms, but I'm not educated in biology at all. I'm investigating the workings of the biological classification system. I was ...
4
votes
1answer
19k 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
537 views

Am I a lobe-finned fish? [closed]

I really wish this question only contained the title and tags, but the website forces me to write some text.