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Variation in Species

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Variation in Species

Postby Woodie » Tue Nov 08, 2005 11:27 pm

As palentologists unearth more and more previously unknown species of dinosaurs, I wonder what criteria are being used to define them as different species.

If a paleontologist a milliion years from now dug up a skeleton of a dachshund and one of a St. Bernard or pehaps an English Bull dog with its stocky body and squashed up snout, would these greatly differing specimens be classified as the same or a different species? We know them to be the same species because we have the luxury of knowing their ability to reproduce.

If a species is a group of organisms that are capable of mating and reproduction, how can skeletal morphology alone be used to determine classification?

I would appreciate thoughts on this topic.
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Postby biostudent84 » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:30 am

Well, they -should- classify them as part of the same species. Skeletal morphology is used mainly to recreate what the animal would have looked like. Then the organism is classified by that.
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Postby MrMistery » Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:23 pm

(a little off-topic)Please keep in mind that biosistematics is strictly arbitrary. An animal is the same animal even if they clasify it as a different species
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
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Postby biostudent84 » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:50 pm

MrMistery wrote:(a little off-topic)Please keep in mind that biosistematics is strictly arbitrary. An animal is the same animal even if they clasify it as a different species


Precicely! A dog really could care less if we classify them as a plant ;)
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