Biology 152 Lecture 1 Section 1 Lessons Help Instructor Resources About

Evolution > Species & Speciation > Topic 1: Discovering Species

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There is no question that the diversity of life is enormous, and measures of this biodiversity are based on species.

It's easy to see that Homo sapiens is a completely different species from Danaus plexippus (monarch butterflies). No problem!

But "species" are sometimes hard to define. Species that are very closely related to each other can be so similar as to defy differentiation.

That's because species themselves are wrapped up in the ongoing process of evolution, and they exist on a temporal and spatial continuum. Click here to learn more about drawing boundaries between species.

Birds of the World, UW-Madison Zoology Museum, photo by Dr. Tim Moermond

What you'll learn in this topic

  • what the morphospecies, biological species, and phylogenetic species concepts are
  • how to distinguish or determine species using the above species concepts

Your task is to determine if several frog populations are separate species by applying these different species concepts.

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