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Re: Definition of Species



In a message dated 2/6/05 10:52:36 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
qilongia@yahoo.com writes:

<<   Which is why it worries me that the largest encyclopedia today has this 
codified in its pages, instead of clarifying that scientists consider there to 
be many different species concepts, none of which are held to be THE 
definition. >>

A friend recently told me that his understanding of the definition of "genus" 
was that species within it could interbreed but not produce fertile 
offspring. This seems to be a related misconception - does this ring any bells 
out 
there? My understanding is that a definition of "genus" would be even more 
arbitrary than settling on Britannica's definition of "species." 

As an interesting aside, websurfing led me to this page...

     http://members.aol.com/jshartwell/hybrid-bigcats.html

... I've seen ligers in a circus; this page documents the interbreeding of 
three species within the genus "Panthera" of which I was unaware (very 
contrived, of course).

Chip Howell
www.geocities.com/vorompatra