What is taxonomy?

  • (noun): (biology) study of the general principles of scientific classification.
    See also — Additional definitions below


Taxonomy (from ancient Greek τάξις taxis, arrangement, and νομία nomia, method) is the academic discipline of defining groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics and giving names to those groups. Each group is given a rank and groups of a given rank can be aggregated to form a super group of higher rank and thus create a hierarchical classification. The groups created through this process are referred to as taxa (singular taxon). An example of a modern classification is the one published in 2009 by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group for all living flowering plant families (the APG III system).

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Some articles on taxonomy:

Trachodon - History and Taxonomy
... from Hadrosaurus, he began to reconsider his taxonomy, and suggested, at least informally, that Trachodon should refer to the double-rooted tooth, and the other teeth ... In the Bone Wars that followed, and their wake, the taxonomy of Trachodon and its relatives became increasingly confusing, with one author going so far as to sink all known hadrosaur species into Trachodon ...
Taxonomy - Non-biological Taxonomies
... in a hierarchy that more or less satisfy the criteria for being a true taxonomy ... Taxonomy, or categorization, in the human cognition has been a major area of research in psychology ... Baraminology is a taxonomy used in creation science which in classifying form taxa resembles folk taxonomies ...

More definitions of "taxonomy":

  • (noun): Practice of classifying plants and animals according to their presumed natural relationships.
  • (noun): A classification of organisms into groups based on similarities of structure or origin etc.