Main Text</h5> Species recognition used to be simple. A studious naturalist could wander about a geographical region to discover and describe in scholarly detail what species varieties he might encounter. Carl Linnaeus was probably the first to demand some conscious order to the process with his Systema Naturae affording Latin binomial and trinomial names to the taxonomy of living species  . Charles Darwin added another dimension to the process with On the Origin of Species , which outlined a process for creating species diversity through adaptation, natural selection and transition  . When paleontologist Steven M. Stanley examined fossil dynamics among different species he suggested that it takes on average 1–2 million years to make new species, at least among mammals and vertebrates  . Recently molecular genetic techniques have weighed in on species identification and taxonomy using multi-locus phylogenetic distance, imputed times of divergence among species and a molecular clock as quantifying metrics. Molecular studies are generally concordant with traditional morphological inference, but not always. As scientists tend to focus on fine-grain details of complex processes such as speciation, our discussions of species recognition, species transition, species definition and species origins have become complex. In this
Current Biology – Elsevier
Published: Dec 16, 2013
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