from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Biology A taxonomic category or group, such as a phylum, order, family, genus, or species.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the taxonomic categories such as phylum or subspecies
  • n. A specific taxonomic category above superfamily and below infraorder; a parvorder

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a taxonomic group, or the name of a taxonomic grouping.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. animal or plant group having natural relations


New Latin, back formation from taxonomy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • The new taxon is named Gamerabaena, and the authors note, under etymology, "'Gamera refers to the fictional, firebreathing turtle from the 1965 movie Gamera, in allusion to his fire-breathing capabilities and the Hell Creek Formation ..."

    "Look at everything around us. Look at everything we've done."

  • Just came across this article on an anigmatic new taxon from the Ediacaran, reporting the discovery of the eight-armed organism Eoandromeda octobrachiata from China and Australia.

    "I don't sleep. I dream."

  • An example of natural turning on of a complex latent program in a lower taxon is discussed.

    2008 August - Telic Thoughts

  • The best-known example of a member of a Lazarus taxon is the coelacanth, a fish closely related to amphibians that had been thought to have died out with the dinosaurs -- only to turn up in the net of a South African trawler in 1938.

    Lazarus, Elvis, zombies and Jimmy Hoffa

  • This is O. osborni, a taxon from the Congo (first described in 1919 and given its own genus, Osteoblepharon) until recently regarded as a subspecies of O. tetraspis.

    Archive 2006-09-01

  • If Hydromantes and Speleomantes are the same genus, the distribution of this taxon is pretty odd: it occurs as relict populations in Italy, France and Sardinia, and then also in California.

    Archive 2006-06-01

  • Note as usual that the discovery date of a taxon is not necessarily the same as the date as when it was first named or recognised as new.

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • That’s good news, because Ikanogavialis (best known for I. gameroi from Upper Miocene* Venezuela [a jaw segment from this taxon is figured at left]) is – while not the same thing as Gavialis – still undoubtedly a member of the gharial family, Gavialidae.

    Archive 2006-09-01

  • We therefore, arbitrarily, chose cut-off points in how much variation we tolerate within any taxon – in other words, we arbitrarily decide how we chop up a lineage into those units we call species and genera.

    Archive 2006-07-01

  • They argue, for example, that Sánchez-Hernández ignored (or was unaware of) workers in the museum in which the material was housed to publish on a specimen and name it without notice, who were themselves preparing a manuscript naming the taxon (of which name was available in musuem labels).

    Happy Christmas, from gigantic Spanish sauropods... or, alas, poor ‘Angloposeidon’

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