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Mammal Species Pie Chart
In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank, as well as a unit of biodiversity, but it has proven difficult to find a satisfactory definition. Scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If as Linnaeus
Linnaeus
thought, species were fixed, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, and to grade into one another. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which two individuals can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. While this definition is often adequate, when looked at more closely it is problematic. For example, with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, or in a ring species, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear
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Species (other)
Species
Species
is one of the basic units of biological classification. Species
Species
may also refer to: Films[edit]
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Botanical Nomenclature
Botanical nomenclature
Botanical nomenclature
is the formal, scientific naming of plants. It is related to, but distinct from taxonomy. Plant
Plant
taxonomy is concerned with grouping and classifying plants; botanical nomenclature then provides names for the results of this process. The starting point for modern botanical nomenclature is Linnaeus' Species Plantarum
Species Plantarum
of 1753. Botanical nomenclature
Botanical nomenclature
is governed by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN), which replaces the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN)
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Fossil
A fossil (from Classical Latin
Latin
fossilis; literally, "obtained by digging")[1] is any preserved remains, impression, or trace of any once-living thing from a past geological age. Examples include bones, shells, exoskeletons, stone imprints of animals or microbes, hair, petrified wood, oil, coal, and DNA
DNA
remnants. The totality of fossils is known as the fossil record. Paleontology
Paleontology
is the study of fossils: their age, method of formation, and evolutionary significance. Specimens are usually considered to be fossils if they are over 10,000 years old.[2] The oldest fossils are from around 3.48 billion years old[3][4][5] to 4.1 billion years old.[6][7] The observation in the 19th century that certain fossils were associated with certain rock strata led to the recognition of a geological timescale and the relative ages of different fossils
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Chronospecies
A chronospecies is a species derived from a sequential development pattern which involves continual and uniform changes from an extinct ancestral form on an evolutionary scale. This sequence of alterations eventually produces a population which is physically, morphologically, and/or genetically distinct from the original ancestors. Throughout this change, there is only one species in the lineage at any point in time, as opposed to cases where divergent evolution produces contemporary species with a common ancestor. The related term paleospecies (or palaeospecies) indicates an extinct species only identified with fossil material. This identification relies on distinct similarities between the earlier fossil specimens and some proposed descendant, although the exact relationship to the later species is not always defined
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Palaeontology
Paleontology
Paleontology
or palaeontology (/ˌpeɪliɒnˈtɒlədʒi, ˌpæli-, -ən-/) is the scientific study of life that existed prior to, and sometimes including, the start of the Holocene
Holocene
Epoch (roughly 11,700 years before present). It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments (their paleoecology). Paleontological observations have been documented as far back as the 5th century BC. The science became established in the 18th century as a result of Georges Cuvier's work on comparative anatomy, and developed rapidly in the 19th century. The term itself originates from Greek παλαιός, palaios, "old, ancient", ὄν, on (gen
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Karyotype
A karyotype is the number and appearance of chromosomes in the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell. The term is also used for the complete set of chromosomes in a species or in an individual organism[1][2][3] and for a test that detects this complement or measures the number. Karyotypes describe the chromosome count of an organism and what these chromosomes look like under a light microscope. Attention is paid to their length, the position of the centromeres, banding pattern, any differences between the sex chromosomes, and any other physical characteristics.[4] The preparation and study of karyotypes is part of cytogenetics.Karyogram of human male using Giemsa
Giemsa
stainingThe study of whole sets of chromosomes is sometimes known as karyology
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DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid (/diˈɒksiˌraɪboʊnjʊˈkliːɪk, -ˈkleɪ.ɪk/ ( listen);[1] DNA) is a thread-like chain of nucleotides carrying the genetic instructions used in the growth, development, functioning and reproduction of all known living organisms and many viruses. DNA
DNA
and ribonucleic acid (RNA) are nucleic acids; alongside proteins, lipids and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), they are one of the four major types of macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life. Most DNA
DNA
molecules consist of two biopolymer strands coiled around each other to form a double helix. The two DNA
DNA
strands are called polynucleotides since they are composed of simpler monomer units called nucleotides.[2][3] Each nucleotide is composed of one of four nitrogen-containing nucleobases (cytosine [C], guanine [G], adenine [A] or thymine [T]), a sugar called deoxyribose, and a phosphate group
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Morphology (biology)
Morphology is a branch of biology dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features.[1] This includes aspects of the outward appearance (shape, structure, colour, pattern, size), i.e. external morphology (or eidonomy), as well as the form and structure of the internal parts like bones and organs, i.e. internal morphology (or anatomy). This is in contrast to physiology, which deals primarily with function
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Ecological Niche
In ecology, a niche (CanE, UK: /ˈniːʃ/ or US: /ˈnɪtʃ/)[1] is the fit of a species living under specific environmental conditions.[2][3] The ecological niche describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of resources and competitors (for example, by growing when resources are abundant, and when predators, parasites and pathogens are scarce) and how it in turn alters those same factors (for example, limiting access to resources by other organisms, acting as a food source for predators and a consumer of prey). "The type and number of variables comprising the dimensions of an environmental niche vary from one species to another [and] the relative importance of particular environmental variables for a species may vary according to the geographic and biotic contexts".[4] A Grinnellian niche is determined by the habitat in which a species lives and its accompanying behavioral adaptations
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Binomial Nomenclature
Binomial nomenclature
Binomial nomenclature
("two-term naming system") also called binominal nomenclature ("two-name naming system") or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin
Latin
grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name (which may be shortened to just "binomial"), a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; more informally it is also called a Latin
Latin
name. The first part of the name identifies the genus to which the species belongs; the second part – the specific name or specific epithet – identifies the species within the genus. For example, humans belong to the genus Homo
Homo
and within this genus to the species Homo
Homo
sapiens
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Specific Name (zoology)
In zoological nomenclature, the specific name (also specific epithet or species epithet) is the second part (the second name) within the scientific name of a species (a binomen). The first part of the name of a species is the name of the genus or the generic name. The rules and regulations governing the giving of a new species name are explained in the article species description.Example The scientific name for humans is Homo sapiens, which is the species name, consisting of two names: Homo is the "generic name" (the name of the genus) and sapiens is the "specific name".The grammar of species names[edit] Grammatically, a binomen (and a trinomen, also) must be treated as if it were a Latin
Latin
phrase, no matter which language the words were originally taken from
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Specific Name (botany)
A botanical name is a formal scientific name conforming to the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants
International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants
(ICN) and, if it concerns a plant cultigen, the additional cultivar or Group epithets must conform to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). The code of nomenclature covers "all organisms traditionally treated as algae, fungi, or plants, whether fossil or non-fossil, including blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria), chytrids, oomycetes, slime moulds and photosynthetic protists with their taxonomically related non-photosynthetic groups (but excluding Microsporidia)."[1] The purpose of a formal name is to have a single name that is accepted and used worldwide for a particular plant or plant group
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Zoological Nomenclature
The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted convention in zoology that rules the formal scientific naming of organisms treated as animals. It is also informally known as the ICZN Code, for its publisher, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (which shares the acronym "ICZN"). The rules principally regulate:How names are correctly established in the frame of binominal nomenclature[1] Which name must be used in case of name conflicts How scientific literature must cite namesZoological nomenclature is independent of other systems of nomenclature, for example botanical nomenclature. This implies that animals can have the same generic names as plants. The rules and recommendations have one fundamental aim: to provide the maximum universality and continuity in the naming of all animals, except where taxonomic judgment dictates otherwise
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Ring Species
In biology, a ring species is a connected series of neighbouring populations, each of which can interbreed with closely sited related populations, but for which there exist at least two "end" populations in the series, which are too distantly related to interbreed, though there is a potential gene flow between each "linked" population.[1] Such non-breeding, though genetically connected, "end" populations may co-exist in the same region (sympatry) thus closing a "ring". The German term Rassenkreis, meaning a ring of populations, is also used. Ring species
Ring species
represent speciation and been cited as evidence of evolution. They illustrate what happens over time as populations genetically diverge, specifically because they represent, in living populations, what normally happens over time between long deceased ancestor populations and living populations, in which the intermediates have become extinct
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Boa Constrictor
The boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), also called the red-tailed boa or the common boa, is a species of large, heavy-bodied snake that is frequently kept and bred in captivity.[2] The boa constrictor is a member of the family Boidae, found in tropical North, Central, and South America, as well as some islands in the Caribbean. A staple of private collections and public displays, its color pattern is highly variable yet distinctive. Ten subspecies are currently recognized, although some of these are controversial.[3] This article focuses on the species Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor
as a whole, and on the nominate subspecies B. c
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