[Taxacom] [tdwg] Semantic Web: What is a species?

Curtis Clark jcclark-lists at earthlink.net
Fri Jan 30 07:50:07 CST 2009

On 2009-01-29 21:04, Kirk Fitzhugh wrote:
> Why are species special? Tokogeny refers to events involving
> organisms, phylogeny refers to more inclusive events involving
> organisms. The naturalness of those events is no less special than
> those to which species refer.

If we had the true genealogy of all individuals, living and dead, of a 
large group of sexually-reproducing organisms, and plotted it in a 
standard form, we'd see areas where the patterns were reticulate, and 
other areas where they were divergent. The splits where one reticulum 
separates from another are speciation. The results are species. If 
that's not "special", I'm not sure whether anything in biology is 
special. Of course, I'm prejudiced, because I studied speciation.

Curtis Clark                  http://www.csupomona.edu/~jcclark/
Director, I&IT Web Development                   +1 909 979 6371
University Web Coordinator, Cal Poly Pomona

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