Earth has a variety of living organisms, which vary in size, shape, nutrition intake, reproduction, habitat, etc. These organisms are classified into different orders and classes based on their characteristics. These organisms are known by different names in their native countries, which leads to confusion among people. So, to rule out this confusion, a particular scientific name is given to them which is the same around the world. This process is known as nomenclature.
For plants, the scientific names are given by ICBN (International Code for Botanical Nomenclature), while for animals, ICZN (International Code of Zoological Nomenclature) provides the name.
In this article, we are going to discuss Taxonomical aid. But, before that, we must know why we need them. Taxonomical aids are those instruments that help us:
- To store and preserve the information along with the specimens of various species.
- To study and do extensive research about these species, and whether they can be useful to agriculture, industries, forestry, as bio-resources, and daily life.
- In studying the organisms, their taxonomical hierarchy, and taxonomical rank.
- Useful in the identification and classification of organisms.
Some of the procedures and techniques to preserve and store the information along with the specimens are explained below:
- A storehouse of collected plant specimens that are dried, pressed and preserved on sheets.
- Along with these specimens, a piece of detailed information about them is written.
- On the lower corner of the right-hand side of the sheet, the points written are:
- English and Vernacular/local name of the specimen.
- The date on which it was collected.
- The place from where it was collected.
- Botanical name and family of the specimen.
- Name of the collector of the specimen.
- These sheets then are arranged according to a universally accepted system of classification.
- These sheets are stored for future use in research and study.
- These are the quick referral systems in taxonomical studies.
- These have collections of living plants for education, scientific research, conservation, and display.
- Along with these plants has attached a label with their description like the botanical/scientific name and their family.
- These provide ex-situ conservation to the plants. Ex-situ conservation means the conservation of the organism away from its natural habitat.
- Some of the Botanical Gardens are Indian Botanical Garden, Howrah, WB; Kew (England); and National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, UP.
- Collect, preserve, and display botanical collections.
- Generally set up in educational facilities like schools and colleges to engage students in science.
- The smaller specimens are collected, killed, dried, pinned, and preserved in jars or containers in preservative solutions.
- The larger ones like birds and mammals are usually stuffed after being killed and preserved.
- Skeletons of various animals are also found in museums.
- Commonly known as Zoo.
- Inhabited by exotic and endemic species of both plants and animals in an ex-situ environment.
- Helps to learn about the breeding season, food habits, behavior of animals, etc.
- Provide an educational and research environment to the scientists and children.
- Developed by John Ray.
- Used for the identification of unknown species based on similarities and dissimilarities.
- A couplet is a pair of contrasting characters of the organism that represents the choice made between two opposite options. In this, only the best-fitted option is accepted while the other is rejected, which helps in quickly classifying the unknown organism into a group it is best suited to.
- Each statement in the key is known as a lead.
- Generally analytical.
- Separate keys are required for each taxonomic category such as genus, species, and family.
FAQs on Taxonomical Aids
Question 1: What is the difference between ex-situ and in-situ environments?
In an ex-situ environment, animals and plants are conserved away from their natural habitat, while in an in-situ environment, plants and animals are conserved in their natural habitat.
Question 2: What does a couplet mean?
A couplet is a pair of contrasting characters of the organism that represents the choice made between two opposite options. In this, only the best-fitted option is accepted while the other is rejected, which helps in quickly classifying the unknown organism into a group it is best suited to.
Question 3: What are some other taxonomical aids?
Flora, manuals, monographs, and catalogs are some other taxonomical aids that help record descriptions of plants and animals. Flora provides the index to the plant species found in a particular area. It also contains the actual account of the habitat and distribution of plants. While manuals provide information for identifying the names of species found in an area. Monographs contain information about any one taxon.
Question 4: What are Taxonomical aids?
Taxonomically aids are those that help you to identify and classify organisms into their respective taxa.
Question 5: What is a herbarium?
It is a storehouse of collected plant specimens that are dried, pressed, and preserved on sheets. These herbarium sheets are preserved according to the system of classification.
Question 6: How is the key helpful in the identification and classification of an organism?
The key has a pair of similar and dissimilar characters which means the selection of one character and rejection of another, and hence, the organism can be placed in the suitable taxon according to the similar characters.
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