The wonders of taxonomy

Written by Caius Gibeily

One may, perhaps, cruise the African planes and catch sight of three organisms: a semi shrub, a terrestrial climbing plant (epiphyte) and a reptile. How should the three be classified or distinguished? It is the study of taxonomy which discriminates organisms. While the aforementioned example considers plants and animals, the field handles all forms of life: bacteria, fungi and amœbae.

Discovered relatively recently on February 9, 2017, the amœbic lifeform, Arcella gandalfi, is esteemed to resemble the wizard’s hat of Gandalf. Consider wearing this amœba for Halloween.

In most circumstances, an amœba is a single-celled organism with a flexible cell wall. The organisms are highly diverse and cannot be specified to a single kingdom of life.

Daniel J. G. Lahr uncloaked the covert amœba succeeding dispatched reports of their presence in Brazilian bodies of water. The size of the ‘specimens from these regions were so small, it was nearly impossible to examine their anatomy and determine whether they belonged to a new species,’ said he.

To ease this diabolical doubt, he sought assistance from a biologist named Jordan de Carvalho e Féres who had collected samples of the apt specimen from the Brazilian state of Amapá. Through careful biodiversity analysis, this zooplankton was classified as its own species.

In conclusion, the categorisation of a species may be challenging, yet every classified organism disinters the buried and extensive forests of bios.


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Caius Gibeily

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