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Introductory sources on biological classification

I'm beginning a project that looks partly at biological classification, primarily in western science. I have no background in this, and so I'm digging around. I'm interested to know more about the current rules for nomenclature, and also to know more about historical, philosophical, sociological, knowledge practice, ethnographic, anthropological, science technology and society (STS), sociotechnical, etc., approaches to the study of biological classification. I'll take monographs, articles, papers, web sites, etc. I have access to a university library. What are some good sources that can introduce me to this? Many thanks!
posted by carter on Jun 9, 2014 - 13 answers

And the voice of the dove WILL EXPLODE YOUR EARDRUMS

What bird did I just see harrassing a squirrel in my Toronto backyard? (Sorry, I couldn't get a camera in time so I have just a verbal description, no picture). [more inside]
posted by maudlin on Jun 25, 2012 - 5 answers

Looks different but actually the same

New species or larval stage of known species? [more inside]
posted by ch1x0r on May 10, 2012 - 6 answers

ID for evolution-themed '80s board game

Half-remembered board game ID question: In the mid-'90s, my family was visiting some friends who owned a strange board game involving evolution, species, a hexagonal grid, and lots and lots of dice. What was it? [more inside]
posted by Johnny Assay on May 23, 2011 - 7 answers

Anonymous Jellyfish

Asking for a friend - can anyone tell me exactly what type of jellyfish this is?
posted by mannequito on Feb 17, 2011 - 5 answers

What website will give the last common ancestor of two species?

Is there a website out there where I can enter the names of two species and be given the approximate date when their last common ancestor lived? Bonus points if it tells me what sort of species this ancestor probably was, and for showing me the part of the tree of life relating to these species. Thanks!
posted by chorltonmeateater on Sep 10, 2010 - 6 answers

Mystery (to me) Bird

What is this sea bird? [more inside]
posted by longsleeves on Jun 25, 2010 - 6 answers

Minimum species population to ensure adequate genetic diversity?

If a species is nearing extinction, what is the minimum population needed to give it a reasonable chance of survival, in terms of genetic diversity? [more inside]
posted by adamrice on Feb 16, 2010 - 14 answers

What are the odds that elephants will become extinct in the next 30 years?

What are the odds that elephants will become extinct in the next 30 years? [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 11, 2009 - 5 answers

A bugs life?

Help me settle a bet about the total number of identified bacteria and viruses. [more inside]
posted by greytape on Sep 22, 2008 - 8 answers

My mother pronounces it "meee-yolk."

Curiosity-filter: Why can't we drink primate milk? [more inside]
posted by Ugh on Sep 17, 2008 - 10 answers

Politics and environmental issues in the US Southwest: good sources for news and gossip?

Anyone follow environmental issues or general politics in the US Southwest (AZ, NM, UT, CO)? [more inside]
posted by salvia on Mar 1, 2008 - 9 answers

Do fish wear lipstick?

What are some things that humans do, that no other animal species does? [more inside]
posted by Solomon on Jan 27, 2008 - 90 answers

Did the Chinese government fund research into whether Han are human?

I once read a claim that the Chinese government had funded "research" whose aim was to prove that Han Chinese are a different species to other humans. It was a physical book, not online. What might it have been? And incidentally, is the claim true?
posted by hoverboards don't work on water on May 18, 2007 - 14 answers

Wildlife Porn

Is there a species (mammal, reptile, amphibian, etc.) that has two functioning sexual organs? [more inside]
posted by goalyeehah on Dec 24, 2006 - 19 answers

the pure, pulsing night / of snouts sticking out of slime

Books about people and animals -- the less cheesy the better -- any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by salvia on Sep 22, 2006 - 43 answers

is anyone aware of an online (or offline) extinction tracker?

extinction tracker? ... is anyone tracking the daily list of vanishing species from this planet? like some sort of online resource of known exctinctions as they happen?
posted by specialk420 on Jun 18, 2006 - 9 answers

Who are the species in your neighborhood?

What are the most important animals for your region of the country? [more inside]
posted by salvia on May 1, 2006 - 27 answers

Gotta eat them all!

Who was the person who famously intended to eat one of every animal? [more inside]
posted by scodger on Jan 31, 2006 - 6 answers

How do you measure intelligence across species?

Assume you had a list of different animal species, and you wanted to order it from most intelligent species to least. (1) What measure of intelligence would you use to compare different species--average number of neurons, for example, or ability to solve certain kinds of tests? Or something else entirely? (2) Can you give some examples of how some common farm, food, or pet animals might rank on the list? [more inside]
posted by yankeefog on Jan 25, 2006 - 17 answers

Speciation and Chromosome Counts

How do species come to have different numbers of chromosomes? [more inside]
posted by luftmensch on Jan 20, 2006 - 14 answers

Identify bird by its call

I am trying to identify a bird by its call. [more inside]
posted by jimfl on Jul 3, 2005 - 3 answers

support vanishing wildlife ... where to start?

I'm would like to help support vanishing wildlife and ecosystems - I am already a sierra club and NRDC member, but I would like to do some more localized giving perhaps to the gorilla fund, or jane goodall ... [more inside]
posted by specialk420 on Jun 9, 2005 - 6 answers

Scientific Advancement

Is there a limit to scientific advancement? If there is only a certain number of elements to the universe, will there reach a technology plateau? [more inside]
posted by the fire you left me on Jul 17, 2004 - 24 answers

How do you tell when a new species has evolved?

It's easy to tell when a species has gone extinct. How do you tell when a new species has evolved? Are there any criteria besides not being able to mate with the former species?
posted by ph00dz on Mar 2, 2004 - 24 answers

Fish Breeding

Can fish interbreed like dogs? My SO and I have been talking about dogs lately so the mixed-breed thing has been a regular topic of conversation. Last night we were at a Thai restaurant with a large fish tank and some gigantic fish. Too big for the tank, in my opinion. And that got me to wondering....can different kinds of fish, genetically speaking, be bred with each other? Even if they wouldn't do it on their own (mating rituals, etc.), could they do it with a scientists help?
posted by jaded on Feb 24, 2004 - 8 answers

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