Race (biology)

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In biological classification, a race is a taxonomic rank, under the level of a species.

Race vs. subspecies[edit]

If the races are sufficiently different or if they have been tested to show little genetic connection regardless of phenotype, two or more groups/races can be identified as subspecies, which is an official biological taxonomical unit subordinate to species.[citation needed] If not, they are denoted as races, which means that a taxonomic rank should not be given to the group, or taxonomists are unsure whether or not a formal rank should be given.[citation needed]

According to Ernst W. Mayr, "a subspecies is a geographic race that is sufficiently different taxonomically to be worthy of a separate name."[1][2]


  1. ^ Ernst Mayr (1970). Populations, Species, and Evolution: An Abridgment of Animal Species and Evolution. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press. ISBN 0-674-69013-3. 
  2. ^ Ernst Mayr. The Biology of Race and the Concept of Equality. Daedalus, Winter 2002, pp.89-94.

See also[edit]