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Last updated: January 30, 2017

What Does Species Mean?

Species is a term used to describe a small group of plants or animals, which consists of similar individuals and can share genes or mate together and produce viable offspring. The species is the principal natural unit used in biology to differentiate between types of living organisms. It is ranked below genus. Subspecies is not a natural unit, but rather a partition used to explain geographic variation.

Safeopedia Explains Species

There can be variation within a species and adaptations based on environmental factors that can be observed, but organisms within a species always have common traits, a common name and can interbreed to produce viable offspring. Other natural units describe larger groups, which may have similar attributes, but different names and cannot interbreed with one another. A genus, for example, is a family of animals that may include several species.


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