Please enlighten my ignorance 8-)

glen yakimoff gleyakim at
Fri Jan 5 23:29:50 EST 2001

Yes living creatures in the same species/genus/family usually look alike,
but not always. The Australian Platypus and Echidna are closely related (ie
they are both monotremes) however, superficially, they look quite different,
and inhabit different environments. Yet an anteater may superficially look
like an Echidna, but it is not closely related . In the same way related
plants often look the same but not always!!!
Also blue-green algae looks like algae, but they are as different as plant
and animals according to taxonomy).
All living creatures are divided/subdivided etc the same way.
The first division is that of kingdom. In other words, in taxonomy, first
you decide weather the living entity is part of the plant kingdom/ animal
kingdom/ fungi kingdom ect ect etc And then you can further subdivide from
Taxonomy is based on features which are often, but not always, based on
genetic chromosomes. Chromosomes determine features, but not always:- for
example Acmena Smithii is a medium to large tree that inhabits rainforest in
Australia, however it also occurs on coastal cliffs where it will be no more
that 1meters (4 foot) high with smaller leaves, however whilst it is still
the same species of plant its environment has changed its dimensions, and
hence appearance.
All taxonomy is heavily based on the way creatures sexually reproduce,
including their sexual structures eg blue-green algae reproduces differently
to normal algae, plants and animals, and so blue green algae, normal algae,
plants and animals are all in different kingdoms (the highest order of
groupings). However related creatures usually share other similarities. eg
the same genus of plant usually has leaves arranged on the stem the same way
ie opposite or alternate or in whorls etc, even though these individual
leaves may vary considerably in shape or size!!!
In flowering plants, the first thing to look for in taxonomy is the floral
structure, and its "fruit" (which may be a hard nut). But without
flowers/fruit ID can be hard!!
Are you getting confused between genetics, and what are living creature
looks like?

Cereoid wrote in message <91mb9o$n26o$1 at>...
>Dear Zebitty,
>Which species in particular that are in the same genus but look radically
>different is it to which you allude?
>Species in the same genus typically share certain floral features but
>vegetatively. It may also be true that vegetatively similar plants are in
>different genera.
>Then there is the possibility that the plants you have seen are
>misidentified or no longer in the same genus.
>"Zebitty" <zebitty at> wrote in message
>news:91m7hc$e88$1 at
>> Hi,
>> I have recently started to learn a bit more about plants for my own
>> purposes, and have noticed something that I haven't been able to answer.
>> plant taxonomy based purely on genetic relationships (much like animals)
>> on something else. I ask because I notice several species of plants that
>> look radically different in their adaptations to their environments and
>> have the same genus. Now generally animals of the same genus tend to look
>> fairly similar. This does not seem to be the case with many plants. Why
>> this? Or is it just my lack of understanding of plant morphology?
>> Thanks to anyone who helps
>> Zebitty
>> "If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of
>> giants"
>> Sir Isaac Newton

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