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

  • noun The specimen that was originally used to name a species or subspecies or that was later designated as the basis for that name. A type specimen might be a dried plant, a preserved animal, or a fossil and is usually kept in a museum or herbarium. There are several kinds of type specimens, such as holotypes and lectotypes.

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

  • noun the original specimen from which the description of a new species is made


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