Monday, July 28, 2008

Taxonomy of Animals You're Are Likely to Encounter

If you are like me, you sometimes find yourself wondering: What biological family is a groundhog in? Is it more closely related to a raccoon or a squirrel? And raccoons: they seem kind of bear-like, don't they? I wonder what that relationship is. Well wonder no more.

I've charted here the taxonomic relationships between fifty animals you are likely to either encounter in North America, or wonder about. No ungulates, though. Because who cares about ungulates? “Look at me, I support my weight in the tips of my usually hoofed feet.” Nope, no ungulates.

The chart is kind of self explanatory, but it does leave out the classification “suborder.” The interesting thing to note about this is in the order carnivora, the two suborders are feliformia, the cat-like carnivores, including cats, hyenas, and mongooses (mongeese?), and caniformia, the dog-like carnivores, which include dogs, bears, skunks, walruses, and weasels and their allies.

It's kind of hard to read, so click the chart for a larger image.

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