START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Jun 4, 2012

Linnaean taxonomy. Most students of biology, even if just in high school, are made at least a little acquainted with its stratification of relationship between living species. Most of us know the major steps: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. But far fewer people are acquainted with the numerous sub-steps that can exist among most of these, making the "family tree" of relationships between species very complicated, especially among birds.

I barely knew Linnaean taxonomy and how animals relate to each other until about four years ago when I first started researching parrot-human history. In trying to understand what I was reading, I found myself discovering the relationships between parrots; the Linnaean "family tree" came to life.

Parrots are an order of birds. Other orders include Falconiformes (raptors, birds of prey), Columbiformes (pigeons and doves), and Passeriformes (huge order that includes everything from zebra finches to sparrows to crows and beyond) to just name a few you are likely to encounter in your life.

Parrots have two families which include all the species and extinct parrot species. Psittacidae are the "true parrots" and include macaws, Amazons, parakeets, lorikeets, and lovebirds.

Cacatuidae are cockatoos. This family tends to have sub-families; the cockatoos are more complicated in their evolution than the other parrots on the Linnaean taxonomy.

Many of the true parrots we think of as "families" are actually genera (the plural for genus). Amazon parrots are genus Amazona. Most macaws belong to genus Ara. Genus Poicephalus includes the popular Senegal parrot. Genus Trichoglossus are lovebirds. Genus Psittacus has one species and two subspecies. These are the African grey parrots. Congo African greys are one sub-species and Timnehs are considered a second sub-species. My favorite of the Psittacidae are the Psittacula(genus) parakeets. With a range from Africa to across most of the warmer parts of Asia, across the south pacific, and even into Australia, these pretty rain forest parakeets are known for their sub-species.

Sharing habitat with the Psittaculas are cockatoos, family Cacatuidae, with all their sub-families and diverse genera. The best known genus among the cockatoos is Cacatua, the "white" cockatoos such as umbrella cockatoos, Moluccan cockatoo, Goffin's cockatoos, and the many species and sub-species of sulfur crested cockatoos. Cacatua should stick out in your mind for the staggering number of species that are now extinct, critically endangered, endangered, or threatened in the wild. These birds, some of the most loved in aviculture, are dying out due to illegal poaching and illegal logging across the south pacific and in Indonesia in particular. More than any other genus of animal I am aware of, these birds are most likely to exist only in zoos in a few years - unless we stop what we are doing to them!

But what about cockatiels, our most popular aviculture cockatoo? Recent DNA studies looked at the relationship between cockatiels and other cockatoos. The studies found that cockatiels are closely related to palm cockatoos and other "black" cockatoos. "The researchers (also) found that the Palm Cockatoo was the first to diverge from a common cockatoo ancestor, followed by a group including the Gang-gang, Red-tailed and the Cockatiel."

Who knew Mithril and Elendil came from such an ancient line of cockatoos?

Whatever your interest in science, I hope this quick look at Linnaean taxonomy as it applies to parrots helps you better appreciate the complexity and beauty within all nature. While my examples were all about parrots, the organization behind everything here applies to all animals, including humans.

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday June 4, 2012, 5:16 pm
Tags: birds science parrots organization parakeets cockatoos taxonomy [add/edit tags]

Group Discussions
Comments
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:

Author

Laurel Rockefeller
female, age 42, single
Johnstown, PA, USA
LAUREL'S SHARES
Jul
30
(0 comments  |  discussions )
This weekend, sister author Alexandra Butcher interviewed me about sight loss, my books, and issues confronting low vision and blind readers and authors. http://peersofbeinan.word press.com/2013/07/28/an-i ntimate-look-at-my-life-a s-a-low-vision-a...
Aug
7
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Not many writers can claim to fulfill their life dream, but I just did last week when I published my first novel, part of a science fiction trilogy I've been writing called "Peers of Beinan" The first book is called "Great Succession Crisis" htt...
Mar
13
(0 comments  |  discussions )
These are only about 200 or so recipes, but this site is invaluable if you, like me, are onion allergic or onion sensitive: http://www.food.com/cookb ook/no-onion-no-garlic-51 115


SHARES FROM LAUREL'S NETWORK
May
19
by Lara K.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
Hello, can everyone please check out and sign this petition to allow death row inmates on Polunsky unit in Texas to have portable DVD/CD players and DVDs and CDs, sent from a third party distributor  (such as amazon.com)? I have a penpal on death...
Mar
15
(1 comments  |  discussions )
  By Zues2u Copyright 2009   There she stood proudly with branches from a tree long dead, Mother N...
Jan
23
by Lara K.
(5 comments  |  discussions )
I did this before. Quit smoking and drinking for 2 weeks with virgin coconut oil. It makes me feel nauseated but I don't crave nicotine. I feel super spacy when I try to quit smoking and drinking, as my brain readjusts chemically. I just had what I h...
Dec
5
by Lara K.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
I am new to thepetitionsite and to making groups. I wanted to make a group where people can: 1. Post about devices, "inventions" or projects they are working on (environmental, mechanical, whatever), even if they are lay-people, without fear of be...


MORE MEMBER BLOGS
Mar 31
Blog: How to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers by Kayleigh L.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — How to Extend the Life of your TRIAD Boilers   Corliss Engine Review Every user desires to prolong the life of a unit. TRIAD assists their clients in achieving this important objective by informing them of ways they can avoid problems and sh... more
Feb 27
Blog: Dr Oz Weight Loss - The 100% Natural And Very Efficient Diet Pill by Debra S.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — Yes, Dr. Oz called Garcinia Cambogia Extract (HCA) the Holy Grail of Weight Loss. He went on to say, “Anytime I see a scientist get this excited about something like Garcinia Cambogia Extract and when I looked through some of this research and ... more
Blog: My Favorite Websites by krysta I.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — IFAW: www.ifaw.org OCEANA: www.oceana.org PETA: www.peta.org EARTH 911: www.earth911.org ANIMALs ASIA: www.animalsasia.org more
Feb 21
Blog: testing one two three by Geoff M.
(0 comments  |  discussions ) — hello world more
Blog: Garcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20 by Dany M.
(0 comments  |  0 discussions ) — Garcinia Cambogia Reviews From Actual People Garcinia Pure Extract Is A Huge Success February 20 Garcinia Cambogia System The Dr. Oz Lose Weight Quick Process Without Having Side Effects He went on to say, “At any time I see a researcher get ... more
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.