What is a species

John Trueman trueman at RSBS-CENTRAL.ANU.EDU.AU
Wed Jul 10 13:16:57 CDT 1996

Re: today's entertaining discussion

The ability to interbreed is a plesiomorphic trait, so not good for a test
of species-status.  Everyone has their own idea as to what makes a species.
My favourite definition is: The smallest set of populations which together
have a separate evolutionary future.  On that definition coyotes and dogs
perhaps are not separate species, but possums in New Zealand are.


John Trueman
Bioinformatics Unit
Research School of Biological Sciences
Australian National University        -------------------------------------
Canberra, ACT 0200,  AUSTRALIA       | Parsimony is nowhere inconsistent  |
                                     | it's your aligment which is wrong. |
ph: +61 6 249 4840                    -------------------------------------
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