Species description

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"New species" redirects here. Species description_sentence_0

For newly evolved species, see speciation. Species description_sentence_1

A species description is a formal description of a newly discovered species, usually in the form of a scientific paper. Species description_sentence_2

Its purpose is to give a clear description of a new species of organism and explain how it differs from species which have been described previously or are related. Species description_sentence_3

The species description often contains photographs or other illustrations of the type material and states in which museums it has been deposited. Species description_sentence_4

The publication in which the species is described gives the new species a formal scientific name. Species description_sentence_5

Some 1.9 million species have been identified and described, out of some 8.7 million that may actually exist. Species description_sentence_6

Millions more have become extinct throughout the existence of life on Earth. Species description_sentence_7

Naming process Species description_section_0

A name of a new species becomes valid (available in zoological terminology) with the date of publication of its formal scientific description. Species description_sentence_8

Once the scientist has performed the necessary research to determine that the discovered organism represents a new species, the scientific results are summarized in a scientific manuscript, either as part of a book, or as a paper to be submitted to a scientific journal. Species description_sentence_9

A scientific species description must fulfill several formal criteria specified by the nomenclature codes, e.g. selection of at least one type specimen. Species description_sentence_10

These criteria are intended to ensure that the species name is clear and unambiguous, for example, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) states that "Authors should exercise reasonable care and consideration in forming new names to ensure that they are chosen with their subsequent users in mind and that, as far as possible, they are appropriate, compact, euphonious, memorable, and do not cause offence." Species description_sentence_11

Species names are written in the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, but many species names are based on words from other languages, Latinized. Species description_sentence_12

Once the manuscript has been accepted for publication, the new species name is officially created. Species description_sentence_13

Once a species name has been assigned and approved, it can generally not be changed except in the case of error. Species description_sentence_14

For example, a species of beetle (Anophthalmus hitleri) was named by a German collector after Adolf Hitler in 1933 when he had recently become chancellor of Germany. Species description_sentence_15

It is not clear whether such a dedication would be considered acceptable or appropriate today, but the name remains in use. Species description_sentence_16

Species names have been chosen on many different bases. Species description_sentence_17

Most common is a naming for the species' external appearance, its origin, or the species name is a dedication for a certain person. Species description_sentence_18

Examples would include a bat species named for the two stripes on its back (Saccopteryx bilineata), a frog named for its Bolivian origin (Phyllomedusa boliviana), and an ant species dedicated to the actor Harrison Ford (Pheidole harrisonfordi). Species description_sentence_19

A scientific name in honor of a person or persons is a known as a taxonomic patronym or patronymic. Species description_sentence_20

A number of humorous species names also exist. Species description_sentence_21

Literary examples include the genus name Borogovia (an extinct dinosaur), which is named after the borogove, a mythical character from Lewis Carrol's poem "Jabberwocky". Species description_sentence_22

A second example, Macrocarpaea apparata (a tall plant) was named after the magical spell "to apparate" from the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling, as it seemed to appear out of nowhere. Species description_sentence_23

In 1975, the British naturalist Peter Scott proposed the binomial name Nessiteras rhombopteryx ("Ness monster with diamond-shaped fin") for the Loch Ness Monster; it was soon spotted that it was an anagram of "Monster hoax by Sir Peter S". Species description_sentence_24

Species names recognizing benefactors Species description_section_1

See also: List of organisms named after famous people Species description_sentence_25

Species have frequently been named by scientists in recognition of supporters and benefactors. Species description_sentence_26

For example, the genus Victoria (a flowering waterplant) was named in honour of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. Species description_sentence_27

More recently, a species of lemur (Avahi cleesei) was named after the actor John Cleese in recognition of his work to publicize the plight of lemurs in Madagascar. Species description_sentence_28

Non-profit ecological organizations may also allow benefactors to name new species in exchange for financial support for taxonomic research and nature conservation. Species description_sentence_29

A German non-profit organisation (gemeinnütziger Verein), BIOPAT - Patrons for Biodiversity has raised more than $450,000 for research and conservation through sponsorship of over 100 species using this model. Species description_sentence_30

An individual example of this system is the Callicebus aureipalatii (or "monkey of the Golden Palace"), which was named after the Golden Palace casino in recognition of a $650,000 contribution to the Madidi National Park in Bolivia in 2005. Species description_sentence_31

The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) discourages this practice somewhat: "Recommendation 20A. Species description_sentence_32

Authors forming generic names should comply with the following ... (h) Not dedicate genera to persons quite unconcerned with botany, mycology, phycology, or natural science in general." Species description_sentence_33

History of species descriptions Species description_section_2

Early biologists often published entire volumes or multiple-volume works of descriptions in an attempt to catalog all known species. Species description_sentence_34

These catalogs typically featured extensive descriptions of each species and were often illustrated upon reprinting. Species description_sentence_35

The first of these large catalogs was Aristotle's History of Animals, published around 343 B.C. Aristotle included descriptions of creatures, mostly fish and invertebrates, in his homeland, and several mythological creatures rumored to live in far-away lands, such as the manticore. Species description_sentence_36

In 77 A.D. Pliny the Elder dedicated several volumes of his Natural History to the description of all life forms he knew to exist. Species description_sentence_37

He appears to have read Aristotle's work, since he writes about many of the same far-away mythological creatures. Species description_sentence_38

Toward the end of the 12th century, Konungs skuggsjá, an Old Norse philosophical didactic work, featured several descriptions of the whales, seals, and monsters of the Icelandic seas. Species description_sentence_39

These descriptions were brief and often erroneous, and they included a description of the mermaid and a rare island-like sea monster called Hafgufu. Species description_sentence_40

The author was hesitant to mention the beast (known today to be fictitious) for fear of its size, but felt it was important enough to be included in his descriptions. Species description_sentence_41

However, the earliest recognized species authority is Linnaeus, who standardized the modern taxonomy system beginning with his Systema Naturae in 1735. Species description_sentence_42

As the catalog of known species was increasing rapidly, it became impractical to maintain a single work documenting every species. Species description_sentence_43

Publishing a paper documenting a single species was much faster and could be done by scientists with less broadened scopes of study. Species description_sentence_44

For example, a scientist who discovered a new species of insect would not need to understand plants, or frogs, or even insects which did not resemble the species, but would only need to understand closely related insects. Species description_sentence_45

Modern species descriptions Species description_section_3

Formal species descriptions today follow strict guidelines set forth by the codes of nomenclature. Species description_sentence_46

Very detailed formal descriptions are made by scientists, who usually study the organism closely for a considerable time. Species description_sentence_47

A diagnosis may be used instead of, or as well as the description. Species description_sentence_48

A diagnosis specifies the distinction between the new species and other species. Species description_sentence_49

In recent times, new species descriptions have been made without voucher specimens, and this has been controversial. Species description_sentence_50

Rates of species description Species description_section_4

According to the RetroSOS report, the following numbers of species have been described each year since 2000. Species description_sentence_51

Species description_description_list_0

  • Year Total number of species descriptions New insect species described 2000 17,045 8,241 2001 17,003 7,775 2002 16,990 8,723 2003 17,357 8,844 2004 17,381 9,127 2005 16,424 8,485 2006 17,659 8,994 2007 18,689 9,651 2008 18,225 8,794 2009 19,232 9,738Species description_item_0_0

See also Species description_section_5

Species description_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species description.