Readers wrangle with definition of ‘species’ | Science News

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Readers wrangle with definition of ‘species’

Your letters and comments on the November 11, 2017 issue of Science News

By
12:37pm, January 10, 2018

Species shmecies

In “Defining ‘species’ is a fuzzy art” (SN: 11/11/17, p. 22), Susan Milius asked scientists to define “species.” Schoolbooks may define the concept as a group of organisms that create fertile offspring when mating with each other but not when mating with outsiders. But for researchers specializing in the topic, a single definition is hard to come by.

“It seems to me that when it comes to animals and especially animal fossils, that biologists are always looking to maximize the number of species,” online reader Mark S. wrote.

MJF Images disagreed: “Sometimes we learn of new species and sometimes we learn we have

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