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Pinniped
Pinnipeds,[a] commonly known as seals,[b] are a widely distributed and diverse clade of carnivorous, fin-footed, semiaquatic marine mammals. They comprise the extant families Odobenidae
Odobenidae
(whose only living member is the walrus), Otariidae
Otariidae
(the eared seals: sea lions and fur seals), and Phocidae
Phocidae
(the earless seals, or true seals). There are 33 extant species of pinnipeds, and more than 50 extinct species have been described from fossils
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Range (biology)
In biology, the range or distribution of a species is the geographical area within which that species can be found. Within that range, dispersion is variation in local density. The term is often qualified:Sometimes a distinction is made between a species' natural, endemic, or native range where it historically originated and lived, and the range where a species has more recently established itself
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Neogene
The Neogene
Neogene
( /ˈniːəˌdʒiːn/)[6][7] (informally Upper Tertiary or Late Tertiary) is a geologic period and system that spans 20.45 million years from the end of the Paleogene Period 23.03 million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the present Quaternary
Quaternary
Period 2.58 Mya. The Neogene
Neogene
is sub-divided into two epochs, the earlier Miocene
Miocene
and the later Pliocene. Some geologists assert that the Neogene
Neogene
cannot be clearly delineated from the modern geological period, the Quaternary. During this period, mammals and birds continued to evolve into roughly modern forms, while other groups of life remained relatively unchanged. Early hominids, the ancestors of humans, appeared in Africa near the end of the period
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Holocene
The Holocene
Holocene
( /ˈhɒləˌsiːn, ˈhoʊ-/)[2][3] is the current geological epoch. It began after the Pleistocene[4], approximately 11,650 cal years before present.[5] The Holocene
Holocene
is part of the Quaternary
Quaternary
period. Its name comes from the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
words ὅλος (holos, whole or entire) and καινός (kainos, new), meaning "entirely recent".[6] It has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1, and is considered by some to be an interglacial period. The Holocene
Holocene
encompasses the growth and impacts of the human species worldwide, including all its written history, development of major civilizations, and overall significant transition toward urban living in the present
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Carnivorous
A carnivore /ˈkɑːrnɪvɔːr/, meaning "meat eater" (Latin, caro, genitive carnis, meaning "meat" or "flesh" and vorare meaning "to devour"), is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of animal tissue, whether through predation or scavenging.[1][2] Animals that depend solely on animal flesh for their nutrient requirements are called obligate carnivores while those that also consume non-animal food are called facultative carnivores.[2] Omnivores also consume both animal and non-animal food, and, apart from the more general definition, there is no clearly defined ratio of plant to animal material that would distinguish a facultative carnivore from an omnivore.[3] A carnivore that sits at the top of the food chain is termed an apex predator. The word "carnivore" is only refers to the mammalian order Carnivora, but this is somewhat misleading
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Chordate
And see textA chordate is an animal belonging to the phylum Chordata; chordates possess a notochord, a hollow dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, and a post-anal tail, for at least some period of their life cycle. Chordates are deuterostomes, as during the embryo development stage the anus forms before the mouth. They are also bilaterally symmetric coelomates with metameric segmentation and a circulatory system. In the case of vertebrate chordates, the notochord is usually replaced by a vertebral column during development. Taxonomically, the phylum includes the following subphyla: the Vertebrata, which includes fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals; the Tunicata, which includes salps and sea squirts; and the Cephalochordata, which include the lancelets. There are also additional extinct taxa such as the Vetulicolia
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Animal
Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million in total. Animals range in size from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres (110 ft) long and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The study of animals is called zoology. Aristotle divided animals into those with blood and those without. Carl Linnaeus
Carl Linnaeus
created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809
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Taxonomy (biology)
Taxonomy (from Ancient Greek τάξις (taxis), meaning 'arrangement', and -νομία (-nomia), meaning 'method') is the science of defining and naming groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics. Organisms are grouped together into taxa (singular: taxon) and these groups are given a taxonomic rank; groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a super-group of higher rank, thus creating a taxonomic hierarchy. The principal ranks in modern use are domain, kingdom, phylum (division is sometimes used in botany in place of phylum), class, order, family, genus and species
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Extant Taxon
Neontology is a part of biology that, in contrast to paleontology, deals with living (or, more generally, recent) organisms. It is the study of extant taxa (singular: extant taxon): taxa (such as species, genera and families) with members still alive, as opposed to (all) being extinct. For example:The moose (Alces alces) is an extant species, and the dodo is an extinct species. In the group of molluscs known as the cephalopods, as of 1987[update] there were approximately 600 extant species and 7,500 extinct species.[1]A taxon can be classified as extinct if it is broadly agreed or certified that no members of the group are still alive. Conversely, an extinct taxon can be reclassified as extant if there are new discoveries of extant species ("Lazarus species"), or if previously-known extant species are reclassified as members of the taxon. The term neontologist is used largely by paleontologists referring to nonpaleontologists
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Family (biology)
In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is one of the eight major taxonomic ranks; it is classified between order and genus. A family may be divided into subfamilies, which are intermediate ranks above the rank of genus. In vernacular usage, a family may be named after one of its common members; for example, walnuts and hickory trees belong to the family Juglandaceae, commonly known as the walnut family. What does or does not belong to a family—or whether a described family should be recognized at all—are proposed and determined by practicing taxonomists. There are no hard rules for describing or recognizing a family, or any taxa. Taxonomists often take different positions about descriptions of taxa, and there may be no broad consensus across the scientific community for some time
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Molecular Phylogenetics
Molecular phylogenetics (/məˈlɛkjʊlər ˌfaɪloʊdʒəˈnɛtɪks, mɒ-, moʊ-/[1][2]) is the branch of phylogeny that analyses hereditary molecular differences, mainly in DNA
DNA
sequences, to gain information on an organism's evolutionary relationships. The result of a molecular phylogenetic analysis is expressed in a phylogenetic tree. Molecular phylogenetics is one aspect of molecular systematics, a broader term that also includes the use of molecular data in taxonomy and biogeography.Contents1 History 2 Techniques and applications 3 Theoretical background 4 Limitations of molecular systematics 5 See also 6 Notes and references 7 Further reading 8 External linksHistory[edit] Further information: History of molecular evolution The theoretical frameworks for molecular systematics were laid in the 1960s in the works of Emile Zuckerkandl, Emanuel Margoliash, Linus Pauling, and Walter M
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Monophyletic
In cladistics, a monophyletic group is a group of organisms that forms a clade, which consists of all the descendants of a common ancestor. Monophyletic groups are typically characterised by shared derived characteristics (synapomorphies), which distinguish organisms in the clade from other organisms. The arrangement of the members of a monophyletic group is called a monophyly. Monophyly
Monophyly
is contrasted with paraphyly and polyphyly as shown in the second diagram. A paraphyletic group consists of all of the descendants of a common ancestor minus one or more monophyletic groups. A polyphyletic group is characterized by convergent features or habits of scientific interest (for example, night-active primates, fruit trees, aquatic insects). The features by which a polyphyletic group is differentiated from others are not inherited from a common ancestor. These definitions have taken some time to be accepted
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Clade
A clade (from Ancient Greek: κλάδος, klados, "branch") is a group of organisms that consists of a common ancestor and all its lineal descendants, and represents a single "branch" on the "tree of life".[1] The common ancestor may be an individual, a population, a species (extinct or extant), and so on right up to a kingdom and further. Clades are nested, one in another, as each branch in turn splits into smaller branches. These splits reflect evolutionary history as populations diverged and evolved independently. Clades are termed monophyletic (Greek: "one clan") groups. Over the last few decades, the cladistic approach has revolutionized biological classification and revealed surprising evolutionary relationships among organisms.[2] Increasingly, taxonomists try to avoid naming taxa that are not clades; that is, taxa that are not monophyletic
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Paleogene
The Paleogene (/ˈpæliədʒiːn, ˈpeɪliə-/; also spelled Palaeogene or Palæogene; informally Lower Tertiary or Early Tertiary) is a geologic period and system that spans 43 million years from the end of the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period 66 million years ago (Mya) to the beginning of the Neogene
Neogene
Period 23.03 Mya
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Extinction
In biology and ecology, extinction is the termination of an organism or of a group of organisms (taxon), normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point. Because a species' potential range may be very large, determining this moment is difficult, and is usually done retrospectively
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Cretaceous
The Cretaceous
Cretaceous
( /krɪˈteɪʃəs/, kri-TAY-shəs) is a geologic period and system that spans 79 million years from the end of the Jurassic
Jurassic
Period 145 million years ago (mya) to the beginning of the Paleogene Period 66 mya. It is the last period of the Mesozoic
Mesozoic
Era. The Cretaceous
Cretaceous
Period is usually abbreviated K, for its German translation Kreide (chalk). The Cretaceous
Cretaceous
was a period with a relatively warm climate, resulting in high eustatic sea levels that created numerous shallow inland seas. These oceans and seas were populated with now-extinct marine reptiles, ammonites and rudists, while dinosaurs continued to dominate on land. During this time, new groups of mammals and birds, as well as flowering plants, appeared
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