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Family (biology)


Family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is one of the eight major hierarchical taxonomic ranks in Linnaean taxonomy; it is classified between order and genus. A family may be divided into subfamilies, which are intermediate ranks between the ranks of family and genus. The official family names are Latin in origin; however, popular names are often used: for example, walnut trees and hickory trees belong to the family Juglandaceae, but that family is commonly referred to as being the "walnut family".

What does or does not belong to a family—or whether a described family should be recognized at all—are proposed and determined by practicing taxonomists. There are no hard rules for describing or recognizing a family. Taxonomists often take different positions about descriptions, and there may be no broad consensus across the scientific community for some time. The publishing of new data and opinions often enables adjustments and consensus.

Contents

Nomenclature


The naming of families is codified by various international bodies using the following suffixes:

History


Uses


Families can be used for evolutionary, palaeontological and genetic studies because they are more stable than lower taxonomic levels such as genera and species.[4][5]

See also


References


  1. ^ Barnhart 1895.
  2. ^ ICN 2012, Section 2. Names of families and subfamilies, tribes and subtribes Article 18 .
  3. ^ International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (1999). "Article 29.2. Suffixes for family-group names" . International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (Fourth ed.). International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, XXIX. p. 306. [1]
  4. ^ Sarda Sahney, Michael J. Benton & Paul A. Ferry (2010). "Links between global taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity and the expansion of vertebrates on land" . Biology Letters. 6 (4): 544–547. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.1024 . PMC 2936204 . PMID 20106856 .
  5. ^ Sarda Sahney & Michael J. Benton (2008). "Recovery from the most profound mass extinction of all time" . Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 275 (1636): 759–765. doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1370 . PMC 2596898 . PMID 18198148 .

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Categories: Families (biology)




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