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Basilosaurus tooth REPLICA 13cm
In the scientific naming of organisms groups of organisms are classified based on their characteristics. Humans, for example has the name Homo sapiens, of which Homo is the genus, and the species sapiens. The species is always written with a lowercase letter.
It is the only taxonomic level that can be defined on a more or less concrete way. The species has been described as a group of individuals who themselves produce fertile offspring. This is not a black and white definition. There are 'species' which produce individuals with impaired fertility or infertility. Numerous forms of hybridization are possible. The definition of species has arbitrary boundaries.
Within the level of species further divisions are subspecies and varieties (described with var.).
See our special page about Scientific naming for more information.
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