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Encyclopedia > Incertae sedis

Incertae sedis—"of uncertain position (seat)"—is a term used to define a taxonomic group where its broader relationships are unknown or undefined. Taxonomy (from Greek ταξινομία from the words taxis = order and nomos = law) may refer to either a hierarchical classification of things, or the principles underlying the classification. ...

Contents

Examples

The taxonomy for humans is usually recognized as follows: Binomial name Homo sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Subspecies Homo sapiens idaltu (extinct) Homo sapiens sapiens Human beings define themselves in biological, social, and spiritual terms. ...

  • Kingdom Animalia - along with all other animals
    • Phylum Chordata - along with all other vertebrates and the invertebrate chordates
      • Class Mammalia - along with all other mammals
        • Order Primates - along with all other primates
          • Family Hominidae - along with all other apes
            • Subfamily Homininae - along with gorillas and chimps
              • Tribe Hominini - along with chimps
                • Subtribe Hominina - along with Australopithecus and prehistoric humans
                  • Genus Homo - along with Homo erectus and other prehistoric humans

If modern humans were newly discovered or considered to be a taxonomic enigma, they might be given the rank of incertae sedis. For example, if it was uncertain how Homo related to other members of the family Hominidae, a list of the great apes would look like this: Phyla Subkingdom Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subkingdom Agnotozoa Placozoa Orthonectida Rhombozoa Subkingdom Metazoa Radiata Cnidaria Ctenophora - Comb jellies Bilateria Protostomia Acoelomorpha Platyhelminthes - Flatworms Nemertina - Ribbon worms Gastrotricha Gnathostomulida - Jawed worms Micrognathozoa Rotifera - Rotifers Acanthocephala Priapulida Kinorhyncha Loricifera Entoprocta Nematoda - Roundworms Nematomorpha - Horsehair worms Cycliophora Mollusca - Mollusks Sipuncula - Peanut worms Annelida - Segmented... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary... For the ecclesiastical use of this term, see primate (religion) Families 13, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all lemurs, monkeys, and apes, including humans. ... Genera Subfamily Ponginae Pongo - Orangutans Gigantopithecus (extinct) Sivapithecus (extinct) Subfamily Homininae Gorilla - Gorillas Pan - Chimpanzees Homo - Humans Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Pierolapithecus (extinct) (tentative) The Hominids (Hominidae) are a biological family which includes humans, extinct species of humanlike creatures and the other great apes... Genera Gorilla Pan (chimpanzees) Homo (humans) Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Homininae is a subfamily of Hominidae, including Homo sapiens and some extinct relatives, as well as the gorillas and the chimpanzees. ... Species A. afarensis (Lucy) Formerly Australopithecus, now Paranthropus Australopithecines (genus Australopithecus) are a group of extinct Hominids that are closely related to humans. ... Species Homo erectus (extinct) Homo ergaster (extinct) Homo floresiensis (extinct) Homo habilis (extinct) Homo heidelbergensis (extinct) Homo neanderthalensis (extinct) Homo rudolfensis (extinct) Homo sapiens Homo is the genus that includes humans and their close relatives. ... Binomial name Homo erectus Dubois, 1894 Homo erectus (upright man) is a hominid species that is believed to be an ancestor of modern humans. ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... Species Homo erectus (extinct) Homo ergaster (extinct) Homo floresiensis (extinct) Homo habilis (extinct) Homo heidelbergensis (extinct) Homo neanderthalensis (extinct) Homo rudolfensis (extinct) Homo sapiens Homo is the genus that includes humans and their close relatives. ... Genera Subfamily Ponginae Pongo - Orangutans Gigantopithecus (extinct) Sivapithecus (extinct) Subfamily Homininae Gorilla - Gorillas Pan - Chimpanzees Homo - Humans Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Pierolapithecus (extinct) (tentative) The Hominids (Hominidae) are a biological family which includes humans, extinct species of humanlike creatures and the other great apes...

Likewise, if humans were known to be primates, but no other relationships were clear, a taxonomy of the primates would like this: Phyla Subkingdom Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subkingdom Agnotozoa Placozoa Orthonectida Rhombozoa Subkingdom Metazoa Radiata Cnidaria Ctenophora - Comb jellies Bilateria Protostomia Acoelomorpha Platyhelminthes - Flatworms Nemertina - Ribbon worms Gastrotricha Gnathostomulida - Jawed worms Micrognathozoa Rotifera - Rotifers Acanthocephala Priapulida Kinorhyncha Loricifera Entoprocta Nematoda - Roundworms Nematomorpha - Horsehair worms Cycliophora Mollusca - Mollusks Sipuncula - Peanut worms Annelida - Segmented... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary... For the ecclesiastical use of this term, see primate (religion) Families 13, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all lemurs, monkeys, and apes, including humans. ... Genera Subfamily Ponginae Pongo - Orangutans Gigantopithecus (extinct) Sivapithecus (extinct) Subfamily Homininae Gorilla - Gorillas Pan - Chimpanzees Homo - Humans Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Pierolapithecus (extinct) (tentative) The Hominids (Hominidae) are a biological family which includes humans, extinct species of humanlike creatures and the other great apes... Species Homo erectus (extinct) Homo ergaster (extinct) Homo floresiensis (extinct) Homo habilis (extinct) Homo heidelbergensis (extinct) Homo neanderthalensis (extinct) Homo rudolfensis (extinct) Homo sapiens Homo is the genus that includes humans and their close relatives. ... For the chess opening, see Sokolsky Opening. ... Genera Gorilla Pan (chimpanzees) Homo (humans) Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Homininae is a subfamily of Hominidae, including Homo sapiens and some extinct relatives, as well as the gorillas and the chimpanzees. ...

Phyla Subkingdom Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subkingdom Agnotozoa Placozoa Orthonectida Rhombozoa Subkingdom Metazoa Radiata Cnidaria Ctenophora - Comb jellies Bilateria Protostomia Acoelomorpha Platyhelminthes - Flatworms Nemertina - Ribbon worms Gastrotricha Gnathostomulida - Jawed worms Micrognathozoa Rotifera - Rotifers Acanthocephala Priapulida Kinorhyncha Loricifera Entoprocta Nematoda - Roundworms Nematomorpha - Horsehair worms Cycliophora Mollusca - Mollusks Sipuncula - Peanut worms Annelida - Segmented... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary... For the ecclesiastical use of this term, see primate (religion) Families 13, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all lemurs, monkeys, and apes, including humans. ... Species Homo erectus (extinct) Homo ergaster (extinct) Homo floresiensis (extinct) Homo habilis (extinct) Homo heidelbergensis (extinct) Homo neanderthalensis (extinct) Homo rudolfensis (extinct) Homo sapiens Homo is the genus that includes humans and their close relatives. ... Subfamilies Cercopithecinae - 11 genera Colobinae - 9 genera The Old World monkeys or Cercopithecidae are a group of primates, falling in the superfamily Cercopithecoidea in the clade Catarrhini. ... Genera Subfamily Ponginae Pongo - Orangutans Gigantopithecus (extinct) Sivapithecus (extinct) Subfamily Homininae Gorilla - Gorillas Pan - Chimpanzees Homo - Humans Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Pierolapithecus (extinct) (tentative) The Hominids (Hominidae) are a biological family which includes humans, extinct species of humanlike creatures and the other great apes... Genera Lemur Eulemur Hapalemur Prolemur Varecia Lemuridae is one of the four families of lemurs and are part of a class of primates known as prosimians. ...

Reasons a Group Might be Considered Incertae Sedis

Not included in an analysis

If a formal phylogenetic analysis is conducted that does not include a certain taxon, the authors might choose to label the taxon incertae sedis instead of guessing as to its placement. This is particularly common when molecular phylogenies are generated since tissue for many rare organisms is hard to obtain. It is also a common scenario when fossil taxa are included since many fossils are defined based on partial information. For example, if the phylogeny was constructed using soft tissue and vertebrae as principal characters and the taxon in question is only known from a single tooth, it would be necessary to label it incertae sedis. A phylogeny (or phylogenesis) is the origin and evolution of a set of organisms, usually of a species. ... Molecular phylogeny is the use of a genes molecular characteristics to classify an organism and to place it on a map of evolutionary relationships known as the phylogenetic tree. ... FOSSIL is a standard for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under DOS. FOSSIL stands for Fido Opus SEAdog Standard Interface Layer and was made by a group of Fidonet sysops to make their software work on different machines. ... A diagram of a thoracic vertebra. ...


Controversy

If conflicting results exist or if there is not a consensus among researchers as to how a taxon relates to other organisms, it may be listed as incertae sedis until the conflict is resolved.


Stem taxa

There is a growing trend (see PhyloCode) among phylogeneticists to place a stem taxon in the clade that contains its ancestors, but to refrain from giving it any more specific taxonomic ranks. For example, the ancestor to all primates would be placed in the Order Primates, but would not be placed in a family at all. Placing it in an individual family (such as Lemuridae) would suggest that it is more closely related to members of that family (lemurs) than to other primates when, in fact, it is equally related to all primates. Types of clade PhyloCode is a formal set of rules governing phylogenetic nomenclature. ... Greek clados = branch) or phylogenetic systematics is a branch of biology that determines the evolutionary relationships of living things based on derived similarities. ... An ancestor is a parent or (recursively) the parent of an ancestor. ... For the ecclesiastical use of this term, see primate (religion) Families 13, See classification A primate is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all lemurs, monkeys, and apes, including humans. ... Scientific classification or biological classification refers to how biologists group and categorize extinct and living species of organisms. ... Genera Lemur Eulemur Hapalemur Prolemur Varecia Lemuridae is one of the four families of lemurs and are part of a class of primates known as prosimians. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Incertae sedis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (448 words)
Incertae sedis—"of uncertain position (seat)"—is a term used to define a taxonomic group where its broader relationships are unknown or undefined.
If a formal phylogenetic analysis is conducted that does not include a certain taxon, the authors might choose to label the taxon incertae sedis instead of guessing as to its placement.
For example, if the phylogeny was constructed using soft tissue and vertebrae as principal characters and the taxon in question is only known from a single tooth, it would be necessary to label it incertae sedis.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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