Define a taxon. What is meant by taxonomic hierarchy? Give a flow diagram from the lowest to the highest category for a plant and an animal. What happens to the number of individuals and the number of shared characters as we go up the taxonomical hierarchy?

Answers (1)

Ans: A taxon is used to refer to a level of the biological classification such as order, phylum family, etc.

In the taxonomy, the different taxa are assigned their levels, and they follow a certain order that cannot be changed. For example, a species always follows up after a genus, and this order cannot be reversed. 

Flow diagram from the lowest category to the highest category for plants and animals are given below:

 

Plant:    Kingdom \rightarrow Division \rightarrow Class \rightarrow Order \rightarrow Family \rightarrow Genus \rightarrow Species

Animal: Kingdom \rightarrow Phylum \rightarrow Class \rightarrow Order \rightarrow Family \rightarrow Genus \rightarrow Species

As we go up the taxonomical hierarchy, the number of shared characters reduces as the level of classification decreases. For example, the number of shared characters of a species will be more than the number of shared characters for a family.

As we go up the taxonomical hierarchy, the classification decreases and thus, the number of individuals increases.

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