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World traveler

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Topic: 6) World traveler (1 of 12), Read 198 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 1999 08:42 AM

Todd Thompson, of Tucson, Ariz., writes: "I remember having learned a word in grade school which, despite considerable effort, I have not been able to place. I know the definition, but not the word itself.

"This is the best description I can give: The theory of plate tectonics suggests that the earth's land masses were once joined in a supercontinent, which is called 'Pangaea.' Presumably, when the continents divided, some species of plants or even animals localized to some particular areas were separated. Hence, the same species of plant or animal might have developed on now-separate continents. For example, a species of fern might exist simultaneously on what is now the eastern coast of South America and the western coast of Africa. The word I remember (but don't) would be used to say, 'That species of fern is a ... '

"I would appreciate any help you could give in resolving this; it has been bothering me for months."

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Topic: 6) World traveler (2 of 12), Read 187 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 1999 10:37 AM

In the context of the sentence you propose, the word you're looking for might be "variety," but it looks to me like you might want:

subspecies

: a subdivision of a species: as a : a category in biological classification that ranks immediately below a species and designates a population of a particular geographical region genetically distinguishable from other such populations of the same species and capable of interbreeding successfully with them where its range overlaps theirs b : a named subdivision (as a race or variety) of a taxonomic species

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Topic: 6) World traveler (3 of 12), Read 177 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Todd Thompson (thomp@physics.arizona.edu)
Date: Thursday, June 24, 1999 01:25 PM

roger -

thank you for the suggestions. the word i'm looking for, however, is more particular to a species or subspecies or group of subspecies in the context of continental drift.

any other ideas?

- todd

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Topic: 6) World traveler (4 of 12), Read 175 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Friday, June 25, 1999 12:39 AM

according to the theory, once Pangaea split some organisms took different evolutionary paths; that is, mutated differently in response to different environmental conditions -- is it these mutations you're asking about, or are you rather referring to a species that didn't appear to change at all?

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 6) World traveler (5 of 12), Read 164 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, June 25, 1999 03:45 AM

Then, is "variety" the word you're looking for?


Group

an assemblage of related organisms -- often used to avoid taxonomic connotations when the kind or degree of relationship is not clearly defined


Phylum or Division

Phylum: a : a direct line of descent within a group b : a group that constitutes or has the unity of a phylum; especially : one of the usually primary divisions of the animal kingdom

Division: a group of organisms forming part of a larger group; specifically : a primary category of the plant kingdom


Class

a major category in biological taxonomy ranking above the order and below the phylum or division


Order

: a category of taxonomic classification ranking above the family and below the class (2) : the broadest category in soil classification

Family

a group of related plants or animals forming a category ranking above a genus and below an order and usually comprising several to many genera b in livestock breeding (1) : the descendants or line of a particular individual especially of some outstanding female (2) : an identifiable strain within a breed

Genus

1 : a class, kind, or group marked by common characteristics or by one common characteristic; specifically : a category of biological classification ranking between the family and the species, comprising structurally or phylogenetically related species or an isolated species exhibiting unusual differentiation, and being designated by a Latin or latinized capitalized singular noun

Species

a class of individuals having common attributes and designated by a common name; specifically : a logical division of a genus or more comprehensive class c : the human race : human beings -- often used with the d (1) : a category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding, and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of a genus followed by a Latin or latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name (2) : an individual or kind belonging to a biological species e : a particular kind of atomic nucleus, atom, molecule, or ion


Variety

a : something differing from others of the same general kind : SORT b : any of various groups of plants or animals ranking below a species : SUBSPECIES



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Topic: 6) World traveler (6 of 12), Read 162 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, June 25, 1999 06:41 AM

A "cline"?

Clines - Some genetic variation among populations of many species is correlated with geographic distribution. This gradual change in phenotype and genotype is a CLINE. Clines are widespread among most groups of organisms. Results in preservation of variation in large populations as differences between subpopulations.

allele

any of the alternative forms of a gene that may occur at a given locus

mutant

: of, relating to, or produced by mutation

Neutral Variation - variation that does not affect fitness is called neutral variation. Much of the variation in traits in a population is neutral and so is not affected by natural selection. Neutral variation is especially common at the molecular level.

Polymorphism - genetic differences within local populations. Polymorphisms preserve genetic variation when success of a genotype or phenotype depends on its frequency relative to other genotypes or phenotypes in a process. Called Frequency-dependent Selection.

Monophyletic

: of or relating to a single stock; specifically : developed from a single common ancestral form mono·phy·ly /'mä-n&-"fI-lE/ noun



polyphylet·ic

: of, relating to, or derived from different ancestral stocks; specifically : relating to or being a taxonomic group that includes members (as genera or species) from different ancestral lineages - poly·phy·let·i·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb



progeny

1 a : DESCENDANTS, CHILDREN b : offspring of animals or plants


phenotype

: the visible properties of an organism that are produced by the interaction of the genotype and the environment
- phe·no·typ·ic /"fE-n&-'ti-pik/ also phe·no·typ·i·cal /-pi-k&l/ adjective - phe·no·typ·i·cal·ly /-pi-k(&-)lE/ adverb


descendant

1 : one descended from another or from a common stock
2 : one deriving directly from a precursor or prototype


relative

an animal or plant related to another by common descent


phylogeny

1 : the evolutionary history of a kind of organism
2 : the evolution of a genetically related group of organisms as distinguished from the development of the individual organism
3 : the history or course of the development of something (as a word or custom)



http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/biblio/index.html

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Topic: 6) World traveler (7 of 12), Read 146 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Michael Fischer (tsuwm@aol.com)
Date: Friday, June 25, 1999 10:35 PM

>phylogeny

yes, lest we not forget: "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny".

8-)

today's wwftd is...

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Topic: 6) World traveler (8 of 12), Read 154 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Roger Gay (roger.f.gay@telia.se)
Date: Friday, June 25, 1999 07:08 AM


On clines

A cline is a gradient of morphological or physiological change in a group of related organisms usually along a line of environmental or geographic transition

This gradual change in phenotype and genotype is a CLINE. Clines are widespread among most groups of organisms

The changes related to clines are changes in phenotype and genotype.

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Topic: 6) World traveler (9 of 12), Read 122 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: S Brennan (sbrennan@slip.net)
Date: Wednesday, July 07, 1999 09:41 PM


I believe the word you're looking for is "endemic": Prevalent in or specific to a particular locale. This usually describes species that have evolved
separately from their forebears, or have evolved to suit a particular set of environmental conditions.

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Topic: 6) World traveler (10 of 12), Read 107 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Kevin Semande (kevin.semande@moh.gov.on.ca)
Date: Monday, July 12, 1999 03:57 PM

This entry seems to be receiving a lot of attention, but no resolution! Endemic is about the closest that anyone has come to the original description. But if the species/order/class is found in more than one locale, it is not only endemic to these areas, but can be said to be PANDEMIC.

You could also call the thing cosmopolitan, but that's not quite as precise.

You did say that the species developed twice, though. This would suggest convergent evolution amongst two phenotypically (ie. physically but not genetically) similar species. In fact, even genes have evolved, seemingly independently, to be similar. Leghemoglobin is a protein produced by legumes to transport oxygen to symbiotic fungi in their roots. It's chemically similar to animal hemoglobin, but apparently, it developed separately in these two lines (i.e. animals and plants). So, in this case, it's not pandemic, but just convergent evolution.

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Topic: 6) World traveler (11 of 12), Read 72 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Andrew Klingler (ask@math.ucsc.edu)
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 1999 04:42 PM

It's not really clear what is needed here. Are we looking for a word that describes the same species (or two organisms recently diverged from the same species) or for a word describing two (not necessarily closely related) species which have evolved similar traits independently? I do not know a word for the first option; I've just seen people use phrases like "closely related" or "recently diverged". Organisms falling into the second category are said to be the result of "convergent evolution" though this is somewhat misleading because they do not, of course, really become members of the same species. If I had to put a name on such pairs of species, I would probably call them "homologs".

If you're looking for a word describing species which have recently speciated from a shared ancestral species, and are known to have speciated specifically because of geographical separation, that may be too specific or rare to have a word. Also, such a word would be a problem because it is a bit problematic to say that geographical separation "caused" speciation...rather, the geographic separation allowed genetic drift or further evolution to separate the distributions of genotypes in the two populations (and it's not clear we could separate causes here in any case).

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Topic: 6) World traveler (12 of 12), Read 30 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Bonnie Bedzin (bsb@scruznet.com)
Date: Thursday, August 26, 1999 06:33 PM

What about congener?

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Topic: World traveler (1 of 1), Read 53 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: S Brennan (sbrennan@slip.net)
Date: Wednesday, July 07, 1999 09:31 PM

I believe the word you're looking for is "endemic": Prevalent in or specific to a particular locale. This usually describes species that have evolved separately from their forebears, or have evolved to suit a particular set of environmental conditions.

--Sean


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