Definition of a species
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Definition of a Species. General Definition. Similar physical characteristics you can observe Interbreed in the wild and have fertile offspring Distinguished genetically from other species Have common phylogeny (evolutionary derivation). Hybrid organisms.

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Definition of a Species

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Definition of a Species


General Definition

  • Similar physical characteristics you can observe

  • Interbreed in the wild and have fertile offspring

  • Distinguished genetically from other species

  • Have common phylogeny (evolutionary derivation)


Hybrid organisms

Most hybrids produce infertile offspring (parent species have two different numbers of chromosomes so they can’t undergo meiosis properly)

Examples

  • Female tiger + male lion = liger

  • Female horse + male donkey = mule

  • Female horse + male zebra = zorse


Some issues to consider

  • What about infertile individuals?

  • What about in vitro fertilization?

  • What about two populations that could interbreed but can’t because they are geographically isolated from each other?

  • What about bacteria and other species that reproduce asexually?


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