Species

Species

In biology, a species (plural: species) is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, the difficulty of defining species is known as the species problem. Differing measures are often used, such as similarity of DNA, morphology, or ecological niche. Presence of specific locally adapted traits may further subdivide species into "infraspecific taxa" such as subspecies (and in botany other taxa are used, such as varieties, subvarieties, and formae).

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Famous quotes containing the word species:

    Prostitution is the most hideous of the afflictions produced by the unequal distribution of the world’s goods; this infamy stigmatizes the human species and bears witness against the social organization far more than does crime.
    Flora Tristan (1803–1844)

    Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)

    Our species successfully raised children for tens of thousands of years before the first person wrote down the word “psychology.” The fundamental skills needed to be a parent are within us. All we’re really doing is fine-tuning a process that’s already remarkably successful.
    Lawrence Kutner (20th century)