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Biological classification[edit]

Phylogenetic nomenclature (PN) or phylogenetic Taxonomy is an alternative to rank-based nomenclature, applying definitions from cladistics (or phylogenetic systematics). Its two defining features are the use of phylogenetic definitions of biological taxon names, and the lack of obligatory ranks. It is currently not regulated, but the PhyloCode (International Code of Phylogenetic Nomenclature) is intended to regulate it once it is ratified.

The terms cladism and cladist were first introduced by Ernst W. Mayr in 1965. They sometimes refer to cladistics as a whole.

Taxonomic Nomenclature[edit]

Geologic time scale[edit]

  • The Cambrian period was named after Cambria, the Latin name for Wales, where Britain's Cambrian rocks are best exposed.
  • The Cambrian is the first geological period of the Paleozoic Era, which is the first era of the current Phanerozoic Eon
Preceded by Proterozoic Eon Phanerozoic Eon
Paleozoic Era Mesozoic Era Cenozoic Era
Cambrian Ordovician Silurian Devonian Carboniferous Permian Triassic Jurassic Cretaceous Paleogene Neogene 4ry
  • Phanerozoic φανερός + ζωή, meaning "visible life"
  • Paleozoic παλαιός="old" + ζωή="life", meaning "ancient life"

Largest organisms[edit]

Genus Orcinus ("of the kingdom of the dead"). Orcus was a god of the underworld in Etruscan mythology

Ungulate means, roughly, "being hoofed" or "hoofed animal". They make up several orders of mammals, of which six to eight survive. There is some dispute as to whether Ungulata is a cladistic (evolution-based) group, or merely a phenetic group or folk taxon (similar, but not necessarily related), because not all ungulates appear as closely related as once believed. Ungulata was formerly considered an order which has since been split into:

As a descriptive term, "ungulate" normally excludes cetaceans, which are now known to share a common ancestor with Artiodactyla and form the clade Cetartiodactyla with them. Members of the orders Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla are called the 'true ungulates' to distinguish them from 'subungulates' (Paenungulata) which include members from the afrotherian orders Proboscidea, Sirenia and Hyracoidea.

The Giant salamander (4.7-5.9ft) is the largest surviving Amphibian. Suborder Cryptobranchoidea (krypto="hidden" + branch="lung", a reference to how the members absorb oxygen — through capillaries of their side-frills.)

Osteichthyes is divided into the ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii) and lobe-finned fish (Sarcopterygii). The oldest known fossils of bony fish are about 420 million years old.

The Giant huntsman spider (Heteropoda maxima) is the world's largest spider by leg-span. See Heteropoda.
Goliathus (Goliath beetle) is among the largest insects on Earth.

Angiosperms (Flowering plants) are divided into Monocotyledons and Dicotyledons (see the "seed leaf", Cotyledon κοτυληδόνος from κοτύλη="cup, bowl")

It is known to be one of the largest living organisms. Scientists have estimated that a single specimen found in Malheur National Forest in Oregon has been growing for some 2,400 years, covering 3.4 square miles. Armillaria solidipes grows and spreads primarily underground and the bulk of the organism lies in the ground, out of sight. It is only visible in the autumn, when it blooms “honey mushrooms”. Low competition for land and nutrients have allowed this organism to grow so huge; it possibly covers more geographical area than any other living organism.


Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Crustacea, Class Malacostraca, Order Decapoda, Infraorder Brachyura (βραχύς= short, οὐρά= tail), Section Eubrachyura

Cryptogam means hidden reproduction, as no seed is produced. Cryptogams reproduce by Spores
Cryptogams are the opposite of the Phanerogamae (Spermatophytes)
The classification is now deprecated in Linnaean taxonomy
Spermatophytes are seed plants, comprising Cycads, Ginkgo, Pinophyta (Conifers), Gnetophyta (Woody plants grouped in the Gymnosperms), Angiosperms (Flowering plants)

Ginkgo is a genus of highly unusual non-flowering plants with one extant species, G. biloba, which is regarded as a living fossil.

Gastropoda: The class Gastropoda contains a vast total of named species, second only to the Insects in overall number.

Evolution of sexual reproduction: Bdelloids reproduce by Parthenogenesis (no males). "Despite the fact that they have been asexual for millions of years, they have diversified into more than 300 species and are fairly similar to other sexually-reproducting rotifer species."

Heteroderidae from heteros=other, deras=skin (derm). This refers to the different 'skins' of female and cyst.

Class Chondrichthyes (χονδρ=cartilage, ἰχθύς=fish), subclass Elasmobranchii (comprises Selachii (sharks) and Batoidea (rays, skates))

sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory Ipomoea purpurea, hollyhock (Sildalcea malviflora), lily (Lilium auratum), primrose (Oenothera fruticosa) and castor bean (Ricinus communis). The image is magnified some x500, so the bean shaped grain in the bottom left corner is about 50 μm long.

a marine opisthobranch gastropod Mollusca. Opisthobranch means "gills behind" (and to the right of the heart). In contrast, Prosobranch means gills in front (of the heart). Opisthobranchs are characterized by two pairs of tentacles and a single gill behind and to the right of the heart. Heterobranchia=Euthyneura (q.v)

A Medusa (biology) is an umbrella-shaped Cnidarian

The largest recorded specimen was more than 7.6 metres (25 ft) across, and weighed about 2,400 kilograms (5,300 lb).