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Animal Species
In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. The most recent rigorous estimate for the total number of species of eukaryotes is between 8 and 8.7 million. However, only about 14% of these had been described by 2011. All species (except viruses) are given a two-part name, a "binomial". The first part of a binomial is the genus to which the species belongs. The second part is called the specific name or the specific epithet (in botanical nomenclature, also sometimes in zoologica ...
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Biology
Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of cells that process hereditary information encoded in genes, which can be transmitted to future generations. Another major theme is evolution, which explains the unity and diversity of life. Energy processing is also important to life as it allows organisms to move, grow, and reproduce. Finally, all organisms are able to regulate their own internal environments. Biologists are able to study life at multiple levels of organization, from the molecular biology of a cell to the anatomy and physiology of plants and animals, and evolution of populations.Based on definition from: Hence, there are multiple subdisciplines within biology, each defined by the nature of their research questions and the tools that they use. Like other scientists, biologists use the sc ...
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Virus
A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses infect all life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea. Since Dmitri Ivanovsky's 1892 article describing a non-bacterial pathogen infecting tobacco plants and the discovery of the tobacco mosaic virus by Martinus Beijerinck in 1898,Dimmock p. 4 more than 9,000 virus species have been described in detail of the millions of types of viruses in the environment. Viruses are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth and are the most numerous type of biological entity. The study of viruses is known as virology, a subspeciality of microbiology. When infected, a host cell is often forced to rapidly produce thousands of copies of the original virus. When not inside an infected cell or in the process of infecting a cell, viruses exist in the form of independent particles, or ''virions'', consisting of (i) the genetic material, ...
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Ring Species
In biology, a ring species is a connected series of neighbouring populations, each of which interbreeds 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 and the next. Such non-breeding, though genetically connected, "end" populations may co-exist in the same region (sympatry) thus closing a "ring". The German term , meaning a circle of races, is also used. Ring species represent speciation and have 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. The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins remarks that ring species "are only showing us in ...
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Microspecies
In biology, a species complex is a group of closely related organisms that are so similar in appearance and other features that the boundaries between them are often unclear. The taxa in the complex may be able to hybridize readily with each other, further blurring any distinctions. Terms that are sometimes used synonymously but have more precise meanings are cryptic species for two or more species hidden under one species name, sibling species for two (or more) species that are each other's closest relative, and species flock for a group of closely related species that live in the same habitat. As informal taxonomic ranks, species group, species aggregate, macrospecies, and superspecies are also in use. Two or more taxa that were once considered conspecific (of the same species) may later be subdivided into infraspecific taxa (taxa within a species, such as bacterial strains or plant varieties), that is complex but it is not a species complex. A species complex is in most ...
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Species Complex
In biology, a species complex is a group of closely related organisms that are so similar in appearance and other features that the boundaries between them are often unclear. The taxa in the complex may be able to hybridize readily with each other, further blurring any distinctions. Terms that are sometimes used synonymously but have more precise meanings are cryptic species for two or more species hidden under one species name, sibling species for two (or more) species that are each other's closest relative, and species flock for a group of closely related species that live in the same habitat. As informal taxonomic ranks, species group, species aggregate, macrospecies, and superspecies are also in use. Two or more taxa that were once considered conspecific (of the same species) may later be subdivided into infraspecific taxa (taxa within a species, such as bacterial strains or plant varieties), that is complex but it is not a species complex. A species complex is in most ...
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Hybrid (biology)
In biology, a hybrid is the offspring resulting from combining the qualities of two organisms of different breeds, varieties, species or genera through sexual reproduction. Hybrids are not always intermediates between their parents (such as in blending inheritance), but can show hybrid vigor, sometimes growing larger or taller than either parent. The concept of a hybrid is interpreted differently in animal and plant breeding, where there is interest in the individual parentage. In genetics, attention is focused on the numbers of chromosomes. In taxonomy, a key question is how closely related the parent species are. Species are reproductively isolated by strong barriers to hybridisation, which include genetic and morphological differences, differing times of fertility, mating behaviors and cues, and physiological rejection of sperm cells or the developing embryo. Some act before fertilization and others after it. Similar barriers exist in plants, with differences in flowering t ...
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Species Concept
The species problem is the set of questions that arises when biologists attempt to define what a species is. Such a definition is called a species concept; there are at least 26 recognized species concepts. A species concept that works well for sexually reproducing organisms such as birds may be useless for species that reproduce asexually, such as bacteria. The scientific study of the species problem has been called microtaxonomy. One common, but sometimes difficult, question is how best to decide which species an organism belongs to, because reproductively isolated groups may not be readily recognizable, and cryptic species may be present. There is a continuum from ''reproductive isolation'' with no interbreeding, to '' panmixis'', unlimited interbreeding. Populations can move forward or backwards along this continuum, at any point meeting the criteria for one or another species concept, and failing others. Many of the debates on species touch on philosophical issues, such as ...
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Boa (genus)
''Boa'' is a genus of non-venomous boas found in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Five species are currently recognized. Etymology The Online Etymology Dictionary says that the word comes from the "late 14c., "large snake," from Latin boa, type of large serpent mentioned in Pliny's "Natural History;" origin unknown (in medieval folk etymology the name was associated with Greek bous "ox")." Species Boa is a polytypic genus and so contains more than one species. The boa constrictor has been reported to grow to a maximum of 14 feet (4.3 m) in length.Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. . Numerous subspecies are currently recognised. A now extinct species, the Marie-Galante boa (''Boa blanchardensis''), lived during the Pleistocene on Marie Galante in the Lesser Antilles. Distribution and habitat ''Boa'' species are found in northern Mexico through Central America (Belize, Guatemala, Ho ...
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Boa Constrictor
The boa constrictor (scientific name also ''Boa constrictor''), also called the red-tailed boa, is a species of large, non-venomous, heavy-bodied snake that is frequently kept and bred in captivity. The boa constrictor is a member of the family Boidae, found in tropical 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. Four subspecies are currently recognized. This article focuses on the species ''Boa constrictor'' as a whole, and on the nominate subspecies ''B. c. constrictor''. Common names Though all boids are constrictors, only this species is properly referred to as a "boa constrictor"—a rare instance of an animal having the same common English name and scientific binomial name. All subspecies are referred to as "boa constrictors", and are part of a diverse group of New World boas referred to as "red-tailed" boas, comprising species of both ''Boa constrictor ...
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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 * Which name must be used in case of name conflicts * How scientific literature must cite names Zoological nomenclature is independent of other systems of nomenclature, for example botanical nomenclature. This implies that animals can have the same generic names as plants (e.g. there is a genus '' Abronia'' in both animals and 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. The code is meant to guide ...
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Botanical Nomenclature
Botanical nomenclature is the formal, scientific naming of plants. It is related to, but distinct from taxonomy. 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'' of 1753. 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''). Fossil plants are also covered by the code of nomenclature. Within the limits set by that code there is another set of rules, the '' International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP)'' which applies to plant cultivars that have been deliberately altered or selected by humans (see cultigen). History and scope Botanical nomenclature has a long history, going back beyond the period when Latin was the scientific language t ...
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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'' (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)." 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. For example, the botanical name ''Bellis perennis'' denotes a plant species which is native to most of the countries of Europe and the Middle East, where it has accumulated various names in many languages. Later, the plant was int ...
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