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Species

A species is a group of organisms that share a genetic heritage, are able to interbreed, and to make offspring that are also fertile. Species are characterized by the fact that they are reproductively isolated from other groups, which means that the organisms in one species are incapable of reproducing with organisms in another species. The term species can also be defined as the basic category in the system of taxonomy. Taxonomy is a scientific system that classifies organisms into categories based on their biological characteristics. Different species are separated from one another by reproductive barriers. These barriers are often geographical, like a mountain range separating two populations, or genetic barriers that don't allow for reproduction between the two populations. All species apart from viruses are given a two-part name, a "binomial". The primary part of a binomial is that the genus to which the species belongs. The second part is named the specific name or the precise epithet. The evolutionary process by which biological populations evolve to become distinct or reproductively isolated as species is termed speciation. Speciation depends on a measure of reproductive isolation, a reduced gene flow. Types of species include: taxonomic species, microspecies, biological species, evolutionary species and successional species.

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