Taxonomy of humans

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Human taxonomy

Taxonomyin a broad sense the science of classificationbut more strictly the classification of living and extinct organisms—i. Taxonomy is, therefore, the methodology and principles of systematic botany and zoology and sets up arrangements of the kinds of plants and animals in hierarchies of superior and subordinate groups. Among biologists the Linnaean system of binomial nomenclaturecreated by Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus in the s, is internationally accepted. Popularly, classifications of living organisms arise according to need and are often superficial. Anglo-Saxon terms such as worm and fish have been used to refer, respectively, to any creeping thing—snake, earthworm, intestinal parasite, or dragon—and to any swimming or aquatic thing. Although the term fish is common to the names shellfishcrayfishand starfishthere are more anatomical differences between a shellfish and a starfish than there are between a bony fish and a man. Vernacular names vary widely. The American robin Turdus migratoriusfor example, is not the English robin Erithacus rubeculaand the mountain ash Sorbus has only a superficial resemblance to a true ash. Biologists, however, have attempted to view all living organisms with equal thoroughness and thus have devised a formal classification. A formal classification provides the basis for a relatively uniform and internationally understood nomenclature, thereby simplifying cross-referencing and retrieval of information. The usage of the terms taxonomy and systematics with regard to biological classification varies greatly. People who live close to nature usually have an excellent working knowledge of the elements of the local fauna and flora important to them and also often recognize many of the larger groups of living things e. Their knowledge, however, is according to need, and such people generalize only rarely. The first great generalizer in classification was Aristotlewho virtually invented the science of logic, of which for 2, years classification was a part. Greeks had constant contact with the sea and marine life, and Aristotle seems to have studied it intensively during his stay on the island of Lesbos. In his writings, he described a large number of natural groups, and, although he ranked them from simple to complex, his order was not an evolutionary one. He was far ahead of his time, however, in separating invertebrate animals into different groups and was aware that whales, dolphins, and porpoises had mammalian characters and were not fish. Lacking the microscope, he could not, of course, deal with the minute forms of life. The Aristotelian method dominated classification until the 19th century. His scheme was, in effect, that the classification of a living thing by its nature—i. These can then be used to develop a definition that states the essence of the living thing—what makes it what it is and thus cannot be altered; the essence is, of course, immutable. The model for this procedure is to be seen in mathematicsespecially geometry, which fascinated the Greeks. Mathematics seemed to them the type and exemplar of perfect knowledge, since its deductions from axioms were certain and its definitions perfect, irrespective of whether a perfect geometrical figure could ever be drawn. But the Aristotelian procedure applied to living things is not by deduction from stated and known axioms; rather, it is by induction from observed examples and thus does not lead to the immutable essence but to a lexical definition. Although it provided for centuries a procedure for attempting to define living things by careful analysis, it neglected the variation of living things. Aristotle and his pupil in botany, Theophrastushad no notable successors for 1, years. In about the 12th century cebotanical works necessary to medicine began to contain accurate illustrations of plants, and a few began to arrange similar plants together. Encyclopaedists also began to bring together classical wisdom and some contemporary observations. After this time, work in botany and zoology flourished.

Looking at Humans


The genus emerged with the appearance of Homo habilisjust over 2 million years ago. Homo erectus appeared about 2 million years ago and, in several early migrationsit spread throughout Africa where it is dubbed Homo ergaster and Eurasia. It was likely the first human species to live in a hunter-gatherer society and to control fire. An adaptive and successful species, Homo erectus persisted for more than a million years and gradually diverged into new species by aroundyears ago. Homo sapiens anatomically modern humans emerged close totoyears ago, [6] most likely in Africa, and Homo neanderthalensis emerged at around the same time in Europe and Western Asia. Both in Africa and Eurasia, H. Separate archaic non- sapiens human species are thought to have survived until around 40, years ago Neanderthal extinctionwith possible late survival of hybrid species as late as 12, years ago Red Deer Cave people. Even today, the genus Homo has not been stricly defined. The discovery of Neanderthal brought the first addition. The genus Homo was given its taxonomic name to suggest that its member species can be classified as human. And, over the decades of the 20th century, fossil finds of pre-human and early human species from late Miocene and early Pliocene times produced a rich mix for debating classifications. There is continuing debate on delineating Homo from Australopithecus —or, indeed, delineating Homo from Panas one body of scientists argues that the two species of chimpanzee should be classed with genus Homo rather than Pan. Many such names are now dubbed as " synonyms " with Homoincluding Pithecanthropus[18] Protanthropus[19] Sinanthropus[20] Cyphanthropus[21] Africanthropus[22] Telanthropus[23] Atlanthropus[24] and Tchadanthropus. Classifying the genus Homo into species and subspecies is subject to incomplete information and remains poorly done. This has led to using common names "Neanderthal" and "Denisovan"even in scientific papers, to avoid trinomial names or the ambiguity of classifying groups as incertae sedis uncertain placement —for example, H. John Edward Gray was an early advocate of classifying taxa by designating tribes and families. Several species, including Australopithecus garhiAustralopithecus sedibaAustralopithecus africanusand Australopithecus afarensishave been proposed as the direct ancestor or sister of the Homo lineage. Especially since the s, the delineation of Homo in Australopithecus has become more contentious. Traditionally, the advent of Homo has been taken to coincide with the first use of stone tools the Oldowan industryand thus by definition with the beginning of the Lower Palaeolithic. But inevidence was presented that seems to attribute the use of stone tools to Australopithecus afarensis around 3. However, a steady rise in cranial capacity is observed already in Autralopithecina and does not terminate after the emergence of Homoso that it does not serve as an objective criterion to define the emergence of the genus. Homo habilis emerged about 2. Already beforethere were suggestions that H. Init was discovered that H. Instead, H. Homo erectus has often been assumed to have developed anagenetically from Homo habilis from about 2 million years ago. This scenario was strengthened with the discovery of Homo erectus georgicusearly specimens of H. As the earliest evidence for H. A separate South African species Homo gautengensis has been postulated as contemporary with Homo erectus in A taxonomy of Homo within the great apes is assessed as follows, with Paranthropus and Homo emerging within Australopithecus shown here cladistically granting ParanthropusKenyanthropusand Homo. Approximate radiation dates of daughter clades are shown in millions of years ago Mya. Note that the naming of groupings is sometimes muddled as often certain groupings are presumed before a cladistic analyses is performed. Hylobatidae gibbons. Australopithecines incl. AustralopithecusKenyanthropusParanthropusHomo. African Homo erectus s. Asian Homo erectus s. Homo sapiens.

Taxonomy of Homo Sapiens


Human taxonomy is the classification of the species Homo sapiens Latin : "knowing man"or the modern hominin, humans. Homothe human genusincludes the past genetic tree of humanity, with NeanderthalsDenisovansand other extinct species of hominin. Extinct Homo species include archaic humans. Current humans have been designated as subspecies Homo sapiens sapiensdifferentiated from the direct ancestor, Homo sapiens idaltu. Prior to the current scientific classification of humans, philosophers and scientists have made various attempts to classify humans. They offered definitions of the human being and schemes for classifying types of humans. Biologists once classified races as subspecies, but today anthropologists reject the concept of race and view humanity as an interrelated genetic continuum. Taxonomy of the hominins continues to evolve. Generally, humans are considered the only surviving representatives of the genus Homo. Scientists have also debated whether any other branches of Homosuch as Neanderthals, should be classified as separate species or subspecies of H. These distinctions are connected with two competing theories of human origins, the more common recent single-origin hypothesis that modern humans represent a distinct gene pool and the multiregional hypothesis that modern humans spreading from Africa interbred with local Homo populations. For example, see microcephalin. Human taxonomy has involved both placing humans within the hominid family or within the animal kingdom in general and classifying types of humans within the species. As recorded in the Hebrew Bibleancient Hebrews classified humans as a kind of living soul nepheshroughly "breather". Living things were said to beget their own kind, a group broader than the scientific species. Humans were said to comprise a single kind. Humans have long been considered animals. Plato referred to humans as featherless biped animals, and Aristotle defined the human being as the " rational animal " or the "political animal". Classic and medieval taxonomy grouped living things according to characteristics, and classifying humans as animals meant that they have various animal characteristics moving, eating, breathing, etc. Modern taxonomy, on the other hand, classifies organisms according to evolutionary lines of descent. Current opposition to classifying humans as animals arises from this modern definition of what it means to be an animal that is, a descendent of a common animal ancestor that lived over million years ago. When Linnaeus defined humans as Homo sapiens inthey were the only members of the genus Homo.

The 7 Homo Species Close to Present Humans That Existed on the Earth


Taxonomy is the practice of identifying different organisms, classifying them into categories, and naming them. All organisms, both living and extinct, are classified into distinct groups with other similar organisms and given a scientific name. The classification of organisms has various hierarchical categories. Categories gradually shift from being very broad and including many different organisms to very specific and identifying single species. There are eight distinct taxonomic categories. With each step down in classification, organisms are split into more and more specific groups. For example, all of the animals in the Kingdom Animalia are split into multiple phyla plural of phylum. The three Domains of life are BacteriaArchaea and Eukaryota. For a long time, all life was separated into five or six kingdoms. These included kingdoms such as animals, plants, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria. With new genetic data, we now know that some protists are more closely related to animals, plants, and fungi than they are to other protists. This suggests that the protist kingdom could be separated into multiple kingdoms. Thoughts are similar for the bacteria and archaea kingdoms. A phylum plural phyla is still a very broad classification but it splits kingdoms into multiple groups. An example of phyla from the animal kingdom is Arthropoda which includes all insects, spiders, crustaceans, and more. Invertebrates are separated into many different phyla. A class is the next level down. Arthropod classes include the likes of insects and arachnids spiders, mites, and scorpions. From class, organisms are placed into an Order and then a Family. Using grasses as an example from the plant kingdom, they belong to the order Poales and the family Poaceae. The final two categories are genus and species. The genus and species that an organism belongs to are how an organism receives its scientific name. An identified species is placed into a specific group in each of these categories. For example, the taxonomic classification of humans is:. To remember the order of the taxonomic hierarchy from domain to species, people often use mnemonics to make it easier. There are many different phrases people have come up with. Carl Linnaeus was a Swedish naturalist from the 18th century and is considered the father of taxonomy. It was Linnaeus who first began to separate organisms into hierarchical categories. Linnaeus is credited with identifying over 10, different plant and animal species in his lifetime, more than any other biologist. It contained three kingdoms, classes, orders, genera, and species. We have since added two more categories — domains and phyla. We now only use this system for classifying organisms and we have since separated all of life into more than two kingdoms. Binomial nomenclature is the method that we use to uniquely name every different organism on Earth, living or extinct. All organisms have a scientific name that includes two Latin words. The two words are made from the names of the genus the species belongs to and a second word to separate each of the species within the same genus. Hence, the scientific names of all organisms are made from the name of their genus and a specific epithet. For example, the scientific name given to humans includes their genus Homo and the specific epithet sapiens. The overall name is Homo sapiens. Scientific names are also written in either italics or underlined. Taxonomy is not a perfect science and, as you will find out, there is a lot of disagreement and uncertainty about the structure of taxonomic classifications.

Human evolution

A taxonomy is a hierarchical scheme for classifying and identifying organisms. The two main features of this taxonomy system, binomial nomenclature and categorical classification, make it convenient and effective. The first feature of Linnaeus's taxonomy, which makes naming organisms uncomplicated, is the use of binomial nomenclature. This naming system devises a scientific name for an organism based on two terms: The name of the organism's genus and the name of its species. Both of these terms are italicized and the genus name is capitalized when writing. Example: The bionomical nomenclature for humans is Homo sapiens. The genus name is Homo and the species name is sapiens. These terms are unique and ensure that no two organisms have the same scientific name. The foolproof method of naming organisms ensures consistency and clarity across the field of biology and makes Linnaeus's system simple. The second feature of Linnaeus's taxonomy, which simplifies organism ordering, is categorical classification. This means narrowing organism types into categories but this approach has undergone significant changes since its inception. The broadest of these categories within Linnaeus's original system is known as kingdom and he divided all of the world's living organisms into only an animal kingdom and plant kingdom. Linnaeus further divided organisms by shared physical characteristics into classes, orders, generaand species. These categories were revised to include kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species over time. As more scientific advancements and discoveries were made, domain was added to the taxonomic hierarchy and is now the broadest category. The kingdom system of classification was all but replaced by the current domain system of classification. The domain system of classification was developed by Carl Woese and places organisms under the following three domains:. The process of classifying organisms by categories was conceived by Linnaeus and has been adapted since. They are similar in every aspect except species name. Taxonomic categories can be even more precisely divided into intermediate categories such as subphyla, suborders, superfamilies, and superclasses. A table of this taxonomy scheme appears below. Each main category of classification has its own subcategory and supercategory. Share Flipboard Email. Regina Bailey. Biology Expert. Regina Bailey is a board-certified registered nurse, science writer and educator. Updated November 05, They are extremophiles capable of living in some of the most inhospitable conditions on earth, such as hydrothermal vents.

Human Evolution: Crash Course Big History #6



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