BIOLOGICAL SPECIES: What it is, Characteristics and Examples

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The diversity of species that we know today is the result of successive evolutionary processes of great complexity. At present, it is estimated that the total of described species is 1.9 million. Despite this staggering number, scientists say there are still many more species to be cataloged, especially in those parts of the planet commonly known as "biodiversity hotspots", located mainly in the tropics.

In tune with these data regarding the number of species that live with human beings on the planet, in this Green Ecologist article you will be able to discover detailed information about the concept of biological species: what is it, characteristics and examples.

Biological species: what is it

The term of biological species It has been modifying and expanding its meaning as science, specifically biology, evolved and acquired a more complex knowledge of nature and the world that surrounds us. In this way, at present, the biological species is conceived as the basic unit of taxonomy, that is, the part of biology devoted to the biological classification of species. Within this basic unit, the biological species is represented as the set of those living organisms that are capable of reproducing between individuals of different sex belonging to the same species, giving rise to fertile offspring.

However, the definition of biological species encompasses numerous foundations and applications within the different branches of biology, so that it can be analyzed based on population genetics, as well as according to the evolution and lineage of species, and even under an ecological vision.

In this picture we see examples of biological species In particular, we can clearly observe anemones and clownfish. In order to go deeper into this complex concept and to know in detail its importance in the study of living beings, in the next sections we will see which are the most outstanding characteristics of biological species, as well as some concrete examples. However, we also recommend these other Green Ecologist articles to have more related information:

  • What is a native or autochthonous species.
  • Endemic species: definition and examples.
  • Invasive species in Spain and their consequences.

Characteristics of biological species

As we have seen in the previous section, biological species are the basic unit within the classification and grouping studies of living beings based on their common characteristics. In the following list we will see which ones are said characteristics of biological species:

  • All those organisms that belong to the same biological species share the same general pattern of common morphological, physiological, genetic, evolutionary and behavioral characteristics.
  • There is a common ancestor from which each and every individual of the same species descends.
  • Individuals of the same species are capable of reproducing with each other, giving rise to fertile offspring. Reproduction between individuals of different species is feasible in some cases, although the offspring would not be fertile.
  • The patterns of geographic distribution are very marked within the populations of individuals of the same species, so that for the same species there is a specific ecological niche, that is, certain ecological characteristics within a common habitat that allow development and survival. of the species; even when individuals inhabit different continents.
  • The total variety of biological species that exist on planet Earth constitute the biodiversity of species.

If you want more information about biological species and biodiversity, we recommend you read these other articles by Ecologist Verde about the Types of biodiversity, Loss of biodiversity, its causes and consequences, and The importance of biodiversity and its care.

Examples of biological species - list names and data

Before naming some concrete examples of different biological species that inhabit planet Earth, let's know which groups of types of species are more numerous, that is, within the total biodiversity of the planet, how many of the cataloged species to date they belong to each group; The data is really fascinating!

  • Vertebrate animal species: 66,176
  • Invertebrate animal species: 1,359,365
  • Mushroom species: 74,000-120,000
  • Lichen species: 17,000
  • Plant species: 323,674
  • Bacterial species: 10,000

In addition to these groups of living beings and the total number of species that represent them, it must be taken into account that there are other less abundant groups that are little known to human beings, within which many of the planet's species are also included. have been described.

Let us now look at some of the common and scientific names of biological species. These are some of the most surprising:

Biological species of animals

  • Bull or Sardinian shark (Carcharhinus leucas)
  • Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
  • Jaguar (Panthera onca)
  • Giant armadillo (Priodonts maximus)
  • Amazon tapir (Turdus rufiventris)
  • Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)
  • Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas)
  • Emerald toucanAulacorhynchus prasinus)
  • Common green anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
  • Salmon pink tarantula (Lasiodora Parahybana)

Biological species of plants and other vegetables

  • Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle)
  • American cedar (Cedrela odorata)
  • Andean papaya (Carica candicans)
  • Flower of the Passion (Passiflora caerulea)
  • Cashew (Anacardium occidentale)
  • Siberian fir (Abies sibirica)
  • Mongolian poplar (Populus suaveolens)
  • Pinsapos (Abies pinsapo)
  • Sequoias (Sequoia sempervirens)
  • Olives (Olea europaea)

Now that you know what is a biological species, its characteristics and examples, we show you this video about the loss of biodiversity or biological wealth, its causes and consequences.

If you want to read more articles similar to Biological species: what is it, characteristics and examples, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

  • Aguilera, M. & Silva, J. (1997) Species and Biodiversity. Interciencia Magazine.Volume 22 (6), pp: 299-306.
  • Barberá, O. (1994) History of the concept of species in biology. Teaching Science Magazine, Valencia (Spain). Volume 12 (3), pp: 417-430.
  • Jiménez, M.P. (2009) The concepts of population and species in the teaching of biology: conceptions, difficulties and perspectives. Editorial of the University of Granada.
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