Biochemist Linus Pauling stated that "Biological specificity is the set of characteristics of living organisms or constituents of living organisms of being special or doing something special.
Each animal or plant species is special.
It differs in some way from all other species...biological specificity is the major problem about understanding life."
Biological specificity within Homo sapiens
Morphologically, humans have an enlarged cranial capacity and more gracile features in comparison to other hominins.
The reduction of dentition is a feature that allows for the advantage of adaptability in diet and survival.
As a species, humans are culture dependent and much of human survival relies on the culture and social relationships.
With the evolutionary change of the reduction of the pelvis and enlarged cranial capacity; events like childbirth are dependent on a safe, social setting to assist in the childbirth; a birthing mother will seek others when going into labor.
This is a uniquely human experience, as other animals are able to give birth on their own and often choose to isolate themselves to do so to protect their young.
The polymorphism in APOE is only in humans as they carry alleles APOE2, APOE3, APOE4; APOE4 which allows human to break down fatty protein and eat more protein than their ancestors is also a genomic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
There are many behavioral characteristics that are specific to Homo sapiens in addition to childbirth.
Specific and elaborate tool creation and use and language are other areas.
Humans do not simply communicate; language is essential to their survival and complex culture.
This culture must be learned, is variable and highly malleable to fit distinct social parameters.
Humans do not simply communicate with a code or general understanding, but adhere to social standards, hierarchies, technologies, complex system of regulations and must maintain many dimensions of relationships in order to survive.
This complexity of language and the dependence on culture is uniquely human.
Intraspecific behaviors and variations exist within Homo sapiens which adds to the complexity of culture and language.
Intraspecific variations are differences in behavior or biology within a species.
These add to power dynamics and hierarchies within the already multifaceted society.
Characteristics may further be described as being interspecific, intraspecific, and conspecific.
Interspecificity (literally between/among species), or being interspecific, describes issues between individuals of separate species.
These may include:
- Interspecies communication, communication between different species of animals, plants, fungi or bacteria
- Interspecific competition, when individuals of different species compete for the same resource in an ecosystem
- Interspecific feeding, when adults of one species feed the young of another species
- Interspecific hybridization, when two species within the same genus generate offspring. Offspring may develop into adults but may be sterile.
- Interspecific interaction, the effects organisms in a community have on one another
- Interspecific pregnancy, pregnancy involving an embryo or fetus belonging to another species than the carrier
These may include:
- Intraspecific antagonism, when individuals of the same species are hostile to one another
- Intraspecific competition, when individuals or groups of individuals from the same species compete for the same resource in an ecosystem
- Intraspecific hybridization, hybridization between sub-species within a species.
- Intraspecific mimicry
Where different species can interbreed and their gametes compete, the conspecific gametes take precedence over heterospecific gametes.
This is known as conspecific sperm precedence, or conspecific pollen precedence in plants.
The antonym of conspecificity is the term heterospecificity: two individuals are heterospecific if they are considered to belong to different biological species.
Not to be confused with Congenic.
Congeners are organisms within the same genus.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological specificity.