TAILIEUCHUNG - Linzey - Vertebrate Biology - Chapter 2

C H A P T E R 2 Systematics and Vertebrate Evolution Biologists attempt to classify living things according to their evolutionary relationships. Because these relationships probably can never be known exactly, several systematic schools of thought have developed. | Linzey Vertebrate Biology 2. Systematics and I Text The McGraw-Hill Companies 2003 Vertebrate Evolution CHAPTER 2 Systematics and Vertebrate Evolution INTRODUCTION Biologists attempt to classify living things according to their evolutionary relationships. Because these relationships probably can never be known exactly several systematic schools of thought have developed each of which has developed its own classification system. The first step in classification is the grouping together of related forms the second is the application of names to the groups. Some refer to the first step as systematics and the second as taxonomy others use the two terms interchangeably to describe the entire process of classification. Systematics comes from the Latinized Greek word sys-tema which was applied to early systems of classification. It is the development of classification schemes in which related kinds of animals are grouped together and separated from less-related kinds. Simpson 1961 defined systematics as the scientific study of the kinds and diversity of organisms and of any and all relationships among them. Systematics which endeavors to order the rich diversity of the animal world and to develop methods and principles to make this task possible is built on the basic fields of morphology embryology physiology ecology and genetics. Taxonomy is derived from two Greek words taxis meaning arrangement and homos meaning law. It is the branch of biology concerned with applying names to each of the different kinds of organisms. Taxonomy can be regarded as that part of systematics dealing with the theory and practice of describing diversity and erecting classifications. Thus systematics is the scientific study of classification whereas taxonomy is the business and laws of classifying organisms. Frequently the two disciplines overlap. Taxonomists may attempt to indicate the relationships of the organism they are describing systematists often have to name a new form before .

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