Palaeos Palaeos The Linnaean System
Taxonomy Family



In the Linnaean system (and taxonomic systems based on it), the Family is a taxonomic category between Order and Tribe.  It might seem strange that a family is considered higher than a tribe (i.e. a family can contain many tribes, but not vice versa), but such is the way these names are.  When there are no Tribes, the Family is a taxonomic category between Order and Genus.   More even then an order, a family is a group of organisms among which the differences are quite minor, e.g. Equidae - horses and their relatives, Ceratopsidae - horned dinosaurs, or Hominidae, man and ape-men (although again the differences among Hominids are extremely slight, here we see a chauvinistic taxonomic inflation, elevated a probably genus rank to family ranking).  Some families contain thousands of species, others might only have a single species.

rank suffix
Magnafamily - idea
Superfamily - oidea or -acea
Family - idae
Subfamily -inae

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page by M. Alan Kazlev (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License)
page uploaded 20 May 2002
checked ATW031211, edited RFVS111202
(originally uploaded on Kheper site 27 May 1999)
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