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taxonomy

Art for "What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists"
taxonomy

What’s in a Name? Taxonomy Problems Vex Biologists

June 24, 2019

Researchers struggle to incorporate ongoing evolutionary discoveries into an animal classification scheme older than Darwin.

Abstractions blog

What a Newfound Kingdom Means for the Tree of Life

December 11, 2018

Neither animal, plant, fungus nor familiar protozoan, a strange microbe that sits in its own “supra-kingdom” of life foretells incredible biodiversity yet to be discovered by new sequencing technologies.

Photo of Trichoplax adhaerens
genomics

World’s Simplest Animal Reveals Hidden Diversity

September 12, 2018

The first animal genus defined purely by genetic characters represents a new era for the sorting and naming of animals.

Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum leaf
botany

DNA Analysis Reveals a Genus of Plants Hiding in Plain Sight

September 4, 2018

Gene-sequence data is changing the way that botanists think about their classification schemes. A recent name-change for a common houseplant resulted from the discovery that it belonged in an overlooked genus.

New finch species "Big Bird "(offspring)
Abstractions blog

New Bird Species Arises From Hybrids, as Scientists Watch

December 13, 2017

The rapid, unorthodox emergence of a new finch in the Galápagos hints that speciation isn’t rare. New hybrid species may quietly appear and disappear without anyone noticing.

Lion, leopard, tiger
evolution

Interspecies Hybrids Play a Vital Role in Evolution

August 24, 2017

Hybrids, once treated as biological misfits, play a vital role in the evolution of many animal species. Now conservationists are trying to reconcile that truth with policies.

Melpomene
genetics

As Animals Mingle, a Baffling Genetic Barrier

August 5, 2014

Despite swapping DNA through interbreeding, butterflies and other animals can maintain distinct species.

genetics

A New Approach to Building the Tree of Life

June 4, 2013

More genetic data is available than ever before to help build evolutionary trees, but scientists are finding that different genes even in the same organism can tell conflicting stories.