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Taxon: Definition & Examples

Taxon: Definition & Examples
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  • 0:01 Biological Taxonomy
  • 0:42 What Is a Taxon?
  • 1:10 An Example
  • 1:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Battista
Categorization and organization are key to better understanding our world. In biology, we have a classification system known as taxonomy. In this lesson, we'll look at the idea of a taxon in biology.

Biological Taxonomy

Biological taxonomy is the idea that we can classify all living organisms in a hierarchy that best describes the relationship among them. It starts off with the most generalized description of living things, the Domain, then moves into less generalized until we reach Species, the most specific.

The order of taxonomic ranking is:

Domain

Kingdom

Phylum

Class

Order

Family

Genus

Species

An easy way to remember these categories is with this sentence:

Did King Philip Come Over For Great Spaghetti?

What Is A Taxon?

You might be asking how this relates to a taxon.

A taxon is any taxonomic category. Basically, it's a catch all term for the classification rankings; i.e. domain, kingdom, phylum, etc. Quite often, we see taxon used in regards to the more specific categories. For example, instead of referring to the actual rank that we are talking about, scientists might say, 'The taxon primates...' when referring to humans' taxonomic family.

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