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Taxonomy is the study of the classification of organisms, it is the organization (separation) of all the known organisms into groups based on their shared features, these groups are then organized into further, larger groups.

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Classification. Taxonomy is the study of the classification of organisms, it is the organization (separation) of all the known organisms into groups based on their shared features, these groups are then organized into further, larger groups. These groups are all referred to as Taxa (Taxon - singular). The taxa used in taxonomy are: Species, Genus, Family, Order, Class, Phylum and kingdom, each group getting larger going form species to kingdom. Taxa Used in Taxonomy Species Organisms That are able to interbreed, producing fertile offspring are considered to be of the same species, this taxon can also be divided into subspecies and then strains (to give more finite classification). Genus A groups of organisms that are similar and fairly closely related. Family A group of organisms, which are of apparently, related Genera. Order A group of similar, or apparently related families. Class A grouping of related orders within a phylum. Phylum Organisms with very basic similarities, which subtle similarities, that appears to have been constructed on the same 'plan'. Kingdom The largest group, which includes animals, plants, fungi...Subdivided into Prokaryota (single celled organisms) and Eukaryota (multicellular organisms). Some groups are so large that they become apparently meaningless, when this happens they can be divided into more specific subdivisions. For individual species the Binomial system is used to name organisms. ...read more.


Variation occurs in populations for a wide range of reasons, either environmental, or because of the mutations in certain members of the species. Changes in organisms affected by the environment in which they live cannot be inherited by their offspring (or daughter cells in asexual reproduction), as only genetic differences can be passed onto the next generation by the either sexual or asexual reproduction. The variation caused by sexual reproduction depend on various factors, these are: * Different assortment of chromosomes in each parent. * Crossing over of homologous chromosomes during meiosis. * Random (to a degree) mating between parents (if selective partnering isn't considered a significant factor). * Random fertilization of gametes, the sperm, which will reach the egg first is completely random. * Mutation as a result of change in the nuclear materials in individual organisms, which can be passed on through sexual reproduction. * Mutations in multi cellular organisms Environmental factors in evolution The environment plays a very large role in how evolution takes its course. For example in the north of England there are varieties of dark winged and light winged speckled moths, the numbers of both varieties of moth tended to be very similar. During the industrial revolution large amounts of coal were burned to fuel the many factories in the north of the country, the soot from the burning coal turned the bark of trees near factories a dark black, after this was observed a sharp decrease in the numbers of moths with light coloured wings was noted. ...read more.


The reason this doesn't occur is because of environmental factors, which may be biotic (living components of the environment) or abiotic (non-living components of the environment). Biotic factors could be such things as predation, disease, habitat (trees, plants...) and abundance of food... when these factors no longer limit the size of the population then it will begin to expand. One example of drastic overproduction is that of rabbits in Australia half way through the last century, Rabbits are not native to Australia and they had no natural predators or diseases that would affect their population size and food was plentiful, so their population exploded. They were rounded up and shot in masses, but this had very little effect on their population, eventually the viral disease myxomatosis was introduced into the rabbit population, by man, through infected fleas (the carriers of the disease), since the rabbit population was so dense the disease spread quickly and massive numbers of rabbits were killed, the disease became the only biotic environmental factor affecting their population, but it still greatly decreased their population size. This case gives a clear example of how environmental factors limit population sizes, if humans were not affected by famine, drought and disease our population would balloon out of control and measures would have to be taken (like those in place in china) to limit the growth of our population. ...read more.

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