from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The science of systematic classification.
  • noun A system of classification, as biosystematics.
  • noun Biology The systematic classification of organisms, especially in terms of the similarities or evolutionary relationships among them; taxonomy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The principles and practice of classification; the study of system, or the formation of any system; systematology; taxonomy. See system, 11.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun plurale tantum The science of systematic classification, especially of organisms. Depending on context this may be the same as taxonomy or distinct. In the latter case systematics will be taken to mean the research into the relationships of organisms, while taxonomy will involve itself in the recognition and the naming of taxa.

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

  • noun the science of systematic classification


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  • Cladistics, or phylogenetic systematics, is a system of classifying living and extinct organisms based on evolutionary ancestry as determined by grouping taxa according to "derived characters," that is characteristics or features shared uniquely by the taxa and their common ancestor.

    A Disclaimer for Behe? 2009

  • The use of hierarchies as organizational models in systematics

    A New Book 2010

  • If dinosaurs really do get lumped more than they already are, it strikes me that the trend within dinosaur systematics is in direct opposition to that occurring among extant tetrapods.

    Archive 2006-03-01 Darren Naish 2006

  • I direct your attention to Figures 4-6 (page 12) where he tries to clear up some conceptual issues with Hennig’s set-theoretical approach to using hierarchies in systematics:

    A New Book 2010

  • Snail shells are important for use in systematics, that is deciding who is more closely related to whom.

    Mollusca 2007

  • Snail shells are important for use in systematics, that is deciding who is more closely related to whom.

    Featured Articles - Encyclopedia of Earth 2009

  • The science of figuring out these trees, known as systematics, has progressed significantly in the last two decades largely due to advances in computation, genetics and molecular biology.

    Health News from Medical News Today 2009

  • Oh, I've also slowly been making my way through the new (September) issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and have read, over the past few days, "A new ornithischian dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Kuwajima Formation of Japan," "The anatomy and systematics of Colepiocephale lambei [Dinosauria: Pachychephalosauridae]," and "Rapid somatic expansion causes the brain to lag behind: the case of the brain and behavior of New Zealand's Haast's Eagle [Harpagornis moorei]."

    So not awake it hurts. greygirlbeast 2009

  • Cladistics (ancient Greek: κλάδος, klados, "branch") is a form of biological systematics that classifies species of organisms into hierarchical monophyletic groups.

    About 'What Darwin Got Wrong' 2010

  • Common traits and shared genetics are tools that help biologists build the clade systematics.

    About 'What Darwin Got Wrong' 2010


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  • Systematics is the study of the diversity of organism characteristics. In biology, systematists are the scientists who classify species and other taxa, which they do with the aim of defining how they relate evolutionarily.


    December 31, 2008