Wiley, Edward O., III Natural History Museum, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
Last reviewed:January 2019
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- Taxa and categories
- Taxonomic formalities
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The scientific activity of naming organisms and organizing these names according to a given criterion. In biological study, taxonomy has evolved into formal rules and systems to classify organisms (Fig. 1). In general, it aims at producing a hierarchical system of classification of organisms that best reflects the totality of similarities and differences. Taxonomy also is part of the broader discipline of systematics, which is a discipline that covers all of comparative biology, including comparative morphology, genomics, and biogeography. Systematists who develop formal biological classifications and publish taxonomic revisions and keys are practicing taxonomy. See also: Biological classification; E-taxonomy; Systematics; Taxonomic categories
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