Anth Exam 2

Anth Exam 2 - Systematics and Taxonomy Notes from Thursday...

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Systematics and Taxonomy Notes from Thursday, February 15, 2007 I. Definitions: a. Systematics : the study of the relationships among organisms b. Taxonomy : the system/science for classifying organisms c. One does a systematic analysis prior to classifying by taxonomy II. Carolus Linnaeus devised the taxonomic scheme that we use . The taxonomic scheme consists of categories, and every organism is classified in a group (called a taxon) in each category. a. Example: Categories Human 1 st Kingdom Animalia 2 nd Phylum Chordata 3 rd Class Mammalia 4 th Order Primates 5 th Family Huminidae 6 th Genus Homo 7 th Species Sapiens b. When you refer formally to a species, use a binominal (2 name) system. This consists of both the Genus and Species names. When formally writing about a species, use upper case letters for the first letter of the Genus name and lower case for all other letters of both the Genus and Species names. Finally, you underline or italicize both Genus and Species names. (Example: Genus species; Homo sapiens; Pan troglodytes) III. Differences between Linnaeus’ use of Taxonomy and that of modern biologists . a. The concept of the species : i. To Linnaeus , there was no fundamental difference among the taxonomic categories (from species – kingdom). Each group of organisms (taxon), no matter what level of the taxonomic hierarchy, had a unique “essence.” An essence is a suite or set of characters/traits that uniquely distinguishes one taxon from another. Every organisms within that species has to have that “essence” or is not part of that taxonomic group. Therefore, species differ among themselves in their “essences.” If 2 or more species has partial overlap of their “essences” or characters, these species can be categorized within the same genus. Similarly, each genus has a unique “essence.” If two or more genera have partial overlap/share a characteristic or “essence”, these genera can be categorized within the same family. Consequently, there was no fundamental difference among the categories. ii. Modern biologist regard the species category as being different from the higher taxonomic categories (genus through kingdom). The species category consists of real groups of organisms, that is, the species. The species are true, identifiable, biological units. Species exist in nature, and
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the species is the unit of evolution. In contrast, the higher taxonomic categories (genus through kingdom) are human constructs and do not exist in nature. Researches may differ in how they classify species into higher taxonomic categories because researchers differ in their assessment of there relationships among species. As a result, there are different taxonomic classifications. b.
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Anth Exam 2 - Systematics and Taxonomy Notes from Thursday...

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