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RE: species



I don't think species as a term would be regulated by which lifeforms
could breed with others. Indeed,
there are many species that can successfully breed with others to create
a hybrid offspring.

Species, as I would define it (myself, not having any formal education
in Biology either!), would be the lowest
level of individuality of a life form. That is, one or more traits that
belong to a particular lifeform that no other lifeforms possess.

The opposite, when grouping numerous species in the same clade (or if
you still like to do Phylums, Classes, etc..) is 
to say "everyone in this group has THIS or THESE trait(s)" no matter how
different the lifeforms actually are.

The above was probably a butchered layperson definition of some basic
taxomic concepts, but I hope it helps!

Jamie Close

        ----------
        From:  Tomporowski,
Steve[SMTP:Steve.Tomporowski@us.ms.philips.com]
        Sent:  Thursday, July 23, 1998 11:12 AM
        To:  dinosaur; Farlow
        Subject:  RE: species


        Dr. Farlow and Dinolist members...
             Thanks, you jogged a brain cell or two about species.  I
don't have ANY 
        training in anatomy or biology and I'm very hazy as to what a
'species' 
        really is.  I had always thought that the definition was a group
of 
        interbreeding individuals.  And two different 'species' cannot
interbreed 
        and produce viable offspring.  How does this apply to the
defining of a 
        dinosaur species.  Obviously we don't have the means to breed
dinosaurs, so 
        we have to rely on anatomy to define the species.  How do the
two relate? 
         Do we have a good handle on what anatomical differences are
enough to fit 
        into the definition?  Or am I 'full of weeds' with the species
definition??

        Thanks much.....Didymus
         ----------
        From: Farlow
        To: dinosaur
        Subject: species
        Date: Thursday, July 23, 1998 7:56AM

             Now that species concepts are being discussed, I have been
reading an
             interesting treatment of just such matters, albeit for a
group other
             than primates:

             W.H. Kimbel and L.B. Martin (eds.), 1993, Species, Species
Concepts,
             and Primate Evolution.  Plenum Press.

             I found the paper by Niles Eldredge therein (What, if
anything, is a
             species?") to be particularly informative.

             Changing the subject, now comes a query:  Does anybody out
there off
             the top of her/his head know about publications that report
values of
             the coefficient of variation for postcranial bones--and
pedal
             phalanges in particular, if such data are available--for
species of
             dinosaurs, non-dinosaurian archosaurs, birds, crocodilians,
or
             lizards?