Life Guilds


Ecology: Guilds

   Life on Earth

   Trophic Levels & Groups

Biotic Guilds

A Guild is a group of organisms having a similar morphology, and exploiting the same food resources, living the same life-style and in the same environment, but which are not necessary related. Because no two types of organisms can occupy the same ecological niche (one will inevitably outcompete the other, and push it aside), comparable guilds have to be separated by geographical or chronological distance.

A good example of the same guild is the Crocodilian today, and the phytosaurian thecodont (parasuchia) of the late Triassic. Both are astonishingly similar in size, appearance, and life-style, and indeed modern crocodiles only appeared after the phytosaurs had become extinct. But they are only distantly related (both are archosaurian reptiles, but their common ancestor lived millions of years before the first phytosaur appeared)

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page originally uploaded on Kheper site 10 May 2001, on Palaeos site 19 May 2002
checked ATW040220
page by M. Alan Kazlev
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