Taxonomy – Importance, History and Development
- Taxonomy is the process of identifying and classifying living organisms.
- Taxonomists study organisms and identify them based on their characteristics.
- These characteristics might be visible morphological characteristics or genetic differences.
- The binomial naming system is the system used to name species.
- Each species is given a name that consists of two parts.
- The first part is the Genus to which the species belongs and the second part is the species name.
- For example, Apis mellifera (the honey bee).
- The honey bee belongs to the Genus Apis and has a scientific name of Apis mellifera.
- The binomial naming system was first uniformly used by Carl Linnaeus.
Other names for (or types of) Binomial naming system include:
- Binominal nomenclature
- Biological classification is the process by which scientists group living organisms.
- Organisms are classified based on how similar they are.
- Historically, similarity was determined by examining the physical characteristics of an organism but modern classification uses a variety of techniques including genetic analysis.
- Organisms are classified according to a system of seven ranks:
- A group of organisms having the same or nearly the same genotype, such as a particular strain of an insect species.
- A sub-division of a species, usually inhabiting a particular area: visibly different from other populations of the same species but still able to interbreed with them.
- A subspecies is further division of a species based on minor but constant differences in structure, appearance or biology.
- Individuals in different subspecies will be morphologically or genetically different from one another but still capable of interbreeding and producing viable offspring.
- The basic unit of living things, consisting of a group of individuals which all look more or less alike and which can all breed with each other to produce another generation of similar creatures.
- Species is one of the seven taxonomic ranks used to classify living organisms.
- A species can be defined as a group of organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring.
- Historically speaking, species are described by taxonomists and what’s called a Type specimen is catalogued and kept in a museum or other collection where scientists can access it.
- The Type specimen can be compared with other specimens to determine if they belong to the same species.
- In modern taxonomy scientists now consider a species to be a group of evolving organisms and have moved away from the idea of a historical Type specimen representing the form of a species.
- A group of closely related species (plural: genera).
- The name of the genus is incorporated into the scientific names of all the member species : Pieris napi and Pieris rapae, for example, both belong to the genus Pieris.
- Genus is one of the seven taxonomic ranks used to classify living organisms.
- Genus is positioned after Family and before Species.
- A taxonomic subdivision of an order, suborder, or superfamily that contains a group of related subfamilies, tribes and genera.
- Family names always end in -idae.
- A subdivision of a class or subclass containing a group of related families.
- Order is one of the seven taxonomic ranks used to classify living organisms.
- Order is positioned after Class and before Family.
- There are 29 insect Orders although, like much of biological classification, this is still being discussed and changed by scientists.