Video encyclopedia



Species (7/11) Movie CLIP - Sil Wants a Baby (1995) HD


Species (1995) - Official Trailer (HD)


Species (1995) | Official Trailer | MGM Studios


Species (1/11) Movie CLIP - The End of the Experiment (1995) HD


Species (2/11) Movie CLIP - Puberty (1995) HD

In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank, as well as a unit of biodiversity, but it has proven difficult to find a satisfactory definition. Scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If as Linnaeus thought, species were fixed and clearly distinct from one another, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, and to grade into one another. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. While this definition is often adequate, when looked at more closely it is problematic. For example, with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, or in a ring species, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear. Among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, and each clone is potentially a microspecies. Problems also arise when dealing with fossils, since reproduction cannot be examined; the concept of the chronospecies is therefore used in palaeontology. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche.
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