8. Try to collect all the currently accepted meanings for the word ‘species’. Discuss with your teacher the meaning of species in case of higher plants and animals on one hand, and bacteria on the other hand.

Answers (1)

Species can be defined in various ways such as

1. Species refers to a group of individuals similar in their fundamental characteristics and can interbreed among themselves. 

2. Species is the basic unit of classification which assembles individuals which share common genetic set-up.

3. Species refers to a natural group of individuals similar in morphology, physiology, anatomy, cytology etc.

Since, higher plants and animals show sexual reproduction extensively, in their case first definition of species is applicable i.e. species refers to a group of individuals similar in their fundamental characteristics and can interbreed among themselves. On the other hand, in case of bacteria, the second and third definitions are applicable. 

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