25 votes
Accepted

Can 'human' become a genus due to space colonization?

The concept you are referring to is speciation and it has been well studied in a wide variety of different natural organisms. I suppose here we are talking about the biological species concept. The ...
  • 2,212
13 votes

How are DNA virus cladograms actually calculated in practice? Is the procedure different for RNA viruses? Are these processes somewhat subjective?

How are DNA virus cladograms actually calculated in practice? A cladogram, or phylogenetic tree1, is constructed by comparing similarities and differences between organisms, and placing those within ...
  • 1,771
10 votes
Accepted

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

Two different species can have the same species epithet if they belong to different genera ('species name' is referring to the full binomial name). Consider for example Pinus glabra and Ilex glabra P....
  • 67.9k
9 votes
Accepted

Can prawns be classified as fish, or is their position ambiguous?

Introduction to phylogeny What makes that two species being closely related or not has nothing to do with whether they look a like or whether they live in similar environment. It has to do with their ...
  • 67.9k
9 votes
Accepted

Classifying Polypeptides (and/or Proteins)

You can certainly refer to short peptides by their sequence. I don't know of any exact boundaries, but I've seen tripeptides referred to by either their three letter codes (Ala-Asp-Asn) or even the ...
  • 880
9 votes
Accepted

Is Asteraceae and Compositae the same family?

They are either treated or even declared to be synonyms in all the texts using both of the terms that I have ever read. Just one reference: the nearest Flora on my desk, G. Marconi, F. Corbetta, ...
9 votes

What is a group of tortoises called?

Creep is correct. I sent an email asking this question to The Tortoise Group, which is a non-profit organization whose mission statement is: Improving the lives of wild and desert tortoises through ...
8 votes
Accepted

Can someone tell me the species of this lizard?

I know nothing about lizards, but this looks like a Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis), also known as a green anole. Apparently they can change colour:
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8 votes
Accepted

What’s the Difference Between Grass and Sedge?

Short answer Sedges have edges, and they're in different families. See Minnesota Wildflowers for a great summary with images. Long answer Both are in the order Poales, but they are in different ...
7 votes

What is Biradial Symmetry?

In biradial symmetry, in addition to antero-posterior axis there are also two other axes or planes of symmetry at right angles to it and each other such as the sagittal or median verticular-...
  • 3,269
7 votes
Accepted

Is identifying the genus of a fungus (mushroom specifically) enough?

Again, I would say: no, genus is not enough. Another example: boletes (specifically, genus Boletus). According to Wilderness College: One of the most common and well-known groups of edible wild ...
7 votes
Accepted

What does it mean to have square brackets around a genus name?

The NCBI Taxonomy staff places square brackets around the genus for some species (examples: [Bacillus] aminovorans, [Candida] auris) to indicate that they are misclassified*, meaning placed ...
7 votes

How are DNA virus cladograms actually calculated in practice? Is the procedure different for RNA viruses? Are these processes somewhat subjective?

Disclaimer: I'm not a bioinformatician, though I occasionally dabble in it, so I may well have some things incorrect. Please feel free to correct or make your own answer. As I see it, you are asking ...
  • 8,774
6 votes
Accepted

Why is traditional rank based taxomomy considered by some as logically inconsistent with phylogenetic knowledge?

You can find discussions of problems with rank-based taxonomy in light of phylogenetics in Ereshefsky 1994, de Queiroz 1996 and Ereshefsky 2002. To summarize, the main problems they identify are: It'...
  • 1,118
6 votes
Accepted

What is a false crocodile?

If you keep reading the next sentence it makes clear what is meant (emphasis mine): Crocodiles (subfamily Crocodylinae) or true crocodiles are large semiaquatic reptiles that live throughout the ...
  • 39.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Is a lion a bony fish?

The path is correct. The safest reading is to say that the lion shares a set of characteristics with the lungfish. You can also say that lion and carps are bony vertebrates (Euteleostomes). In ...
  • 202
6 votes

Can 'human' become a genus due to space colonization?

I do not believe it will happen. There are multiple roadblocks: First, speciation time is measured in generations, not years. The human generation time is long, the 3000 generations mentioned in ...
5 votes

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

This is a widespread issue amongst binomial names. Only the full binomial name has to be unique in nomenclature, and therefore many genera contain different organisms with the same specific epithet. ...
  • 9,404
5 votes

Difference between Category, Rank and Taxon

A taxon (plural taxa) is any taxonomic unit. For example, the class Mammalia is a taxon which includes all mammalian species. Similarly, a species is a taxon, Panthera tigris being the tiger. This ...
  • 2,472
5 votes
Accepted

Who are Ursprungliche Eukaryoten?

It is natural to be confused because the consensus has changed over the years and is still not settled. In part this is because knowledge has been gained but remains incomplete, and in part it is a ...
  • 8,779
5 votes

Is identifying the genus of a fungus (mushroom specifically) enough?

It seems like the simple version of your question is: can anyone come up with even one example of 2 fungi species in the same genus in which one is edible and the other is not? Here's one example: ...
5 votes

confusion in types and kingdom system of classification

In earlier days, biological classification systems were often described as artifical or natural, with natural systems reflecting the 'real' relationships among living beings, and artificial ones ...
  • 1,267
5 votes
Accepted

Why are basophils and eosinophils considered granulocytes?

granulocytes are a type of leukocytes that have granules (hence the name) visible by microscopy Yep, that's it; like you said, that's where they get the name: their appearance. Not their function or ...
  • 39.2k
5 votes
Accepted

What is an apple?

Biologists aren't the people who decided what an "apple" is, the general population of users of language are. You could try back-create a definition that is biologically relevant based on ...
  • 39.2k
4 votes

What is a group of tortoises called?

What I found was that creep is a collective noun. The professor Peter Trudgill uses the word in a chapter about collective nouns and the example is of tortoises. I don't know what book to tell you to ...
  • 2,167
4 votes

Do humans have enough biological differences to be grouped into races or subspecies?

First you can take a look at this diagram: You can make a google image search for "Cavalli Sforza" and get a lot of similar diagrams. This diagram is using a concept known as genetic distance by ...
  • 552
4 votes
Accepted

Chlamydomanas are present in Kingdom Protista or Plantae?

It is generally accepted now that Chlorophyta are Plantae (see here). They are more closely related to plants than any other group of organism. Protist is a kind of basket term for any eukaryotic ...
  • 1,415
4 votes

How many species can have the same scientific name?

The scientific name (better known as latin name or binomial name) of a species is unique to this species. No two species can have the same latin name. Also, a single species cannot have two different ...
  • 67.9k
4 votes
Accepted

What is meant by "Common descent"?

The Wikipedia definition is suitable to say that species 1 and 3 share common descent. Common descent is a concept in evolutionary biology applicable when one species is the ancestor of two or more ...
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