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What are species in Biology?-Definition, and Examples

April 19, 2023
written by Sidra Batool

A species is a group of living things that share similar traits and can reproduce with each other to have babies that can have babies themselves. It’s the basic unit of classification in biology. The next level up is a genus.

There are about 8.7 million species on Earth, but many more have gone extinct. Aristotle first used the term “species” a long time ago, and scientists still use it to understand the different types of living things in the world.

What are species in Biology?

In Biology, term species defines a group of organisms that are capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. If two organisms can mate and their offspring can also mate and produce offspring, they are considered to be of the same species.

If the offspring are sterile, the parents are classified as different species. Organisms of the same species share a gene pool, allowing for variation within species. Members of a species may look different, they still share the same DNA and proteins.

Species is the most specific level of classification in biology and helps scientists understand the diversity of life on Earth.

Specie as a unit of biological classification

The smallest unit of classification is the species. The highest and broadest category in taxonomy is the Domain, which is composed of three groups: Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya. Within the Eukarya domain, there are four primary kingdoms: Protista, Plantae, Fungi, and Animalia.

As we move down the taxonomic system, kingdoms are divided into phyla, which are then divided into classes, orders, and so on, until organisms are sorted into their respective species.

The concept of species is a fundamental aspect of biological classification, which involves grouping living organisms based on shared traits and characteristics. A species is defined as a group of organisms that are capable of interbreeding and producing viable, fertile offspring.

It means that individuals of the same species share the same genetic information and can exchange it through reproduction, allowing for variation within the species.

The next level up in the hierarchy of biological classification is a genus, which contains related species that share common characteristics. The genus is followed by higher levels of classification, including family, order, class, phylum, and kingdom.

This hierarchical system of classification is used by scientists to better understand the diversity of life on Earth and how different organisms are related to each other.

Categories of Classification

These categories are used to classify organisms based on their genetic makeup, physical characteristics, and ability to interbreed. Organisms that share more categories are considered more similar, and those with fewer categories in common are considered less similar.

The smallest unit of classification is the species, while the domain is the highest and broadest category.

  1. Domain
  2. Kingdom
  3. Phylum
  4. Class
  5. Order
  6. Family
  7. Genus
  8. Species

Examples Of Species

Here are a few examples of species:

  1. Homo sapiens – the scientific name for humans
  2. Canis lupus – the scientific name for gray wolves
  3. Felis catus – the scientific name for domestic cats
  4. Panthera leo – the scientific name for lions
  5. Ursus arctos – the scientific name for brown bears
  6. Mus musculus – the scientific name for house mice
  7. Drosophila melanogaster – the scientific name for fruit flies
  8. Saccharomyces cerevisiae – the scientific name for baker’s yeast
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