Encyclopedia > Taxon

  Article Content


A taxon (plural taxa) is an element of a taxonomy, e.g. in the scientific classification in biology. Taxa form a hierarchical scheme, each being broken down into subtaxa.

In traditional Linnaean taxonomy, taxa are ranked as follows:

The prefix super- indicates a rank above another, the prefix sub- indicates a rank below another, and the prefix infra- indicates a rank below sub-. For instance:

  • Superclass
  • Class
  • Subclass
  • Infraclass

It has become generally accepted that taxa should contain an ancestral form and all or some of its descendants, though the validity of the latter category is increasingly debated.

External link

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... structures investigated often have their origin in the natural sciences, most commonly in physics, but mathematicians also define and investigate structures for reasons ...