Friday, November 12, 2010

Taxonomy Request

Anyone got any good explanations of taxonomy? The last time I cared about it at all, I was memorizing the names for Biology class: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. I recall, vaguely, that it has to do with how closely related things are to one another--members of a given species interbreed and so on. Now, though, I'm starting to try to learn to identify birds and bugs and things, and I find categories that King Phillip and his Soup(1) can't help me with. There are orders and infraorders, and for all I know suborders, families and superfamilies and subspecies and occasionally entries marked "No Taxon." What is going on? I've looked at the inestimable Wikipedia, but I'd like more depth and detail, please.

(1)"King Phillip Came Over For Good Soup," one of the few mnemonic devices that has actually stuck, and here it's outdated, and maybe was already outdated when I was learning it.

1 comment:

  1. What? Not Kings Play Chess On Fine Gold Sets? That's what I learned, and is one of the very few mnemonics I've retained. The other one was "My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas", which is of course no good to me at all.