Taxon

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Taxon'

Taxon Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    taxon n : animal or plant group having natural relations [syn: taxonomic group, taxonomic category] [also: taxa (pl)]
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Taxon'


A taxon (plural: taxa) is a group of (one or more) organisms, which a taxonomist adjudges to be a unit. Usually a taxon is given a name and a rank, although neither is a requirement. Defining what belongs or does not belong to such a taxonomic group is done by a taxonomist. It is not uncommon for one taxonomist to disagree with another on what exactly belongs to a taxon, or on what exact criteria should be used for inclusion.

Taxonomists sometimes make a distinction between "good" (or natural) taxa and others that are "not good" (or artificial). Today it is common to define a good taxon as one that reflects presumptive evolutionary (phylogenetic) relationships. But this is not mandatory.

A taxon may be given a formal name, a scientific name. Such a scientific name is governed by one of the Nomenclature Codes, which sets out rules to determine which scientific name is correct for that particular grouping.

[See more about Taxon at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]

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