Biodiversity - Which is the most diverse animal or plant?

1. Nov 29, 2007

wolram

Which is the most diverse animal or plant, if one classes any thing living that is not a plant an animal.

Last edited: Nov 29, 2007
2. Nov 29, 2007

Mk

How can one organism be more diverse than another?

3. Nov 29, 2007

Chris Hillman

Which measure of diversity?

Come again? Are you restricting competitors to "plants and animals", or excluding "plants and animals"? (Define plant, animal.) And do you mean morphological diversity? Genetic diversity? Behavioral diversity?

In ecology and systematics, "diversity" usually refers to a more or less vaguely motivated quantity which alleges to compare "diversity" of ecosystems or genomes in a population of breeding organisms. One of the simplest measures of "diversity" of an ecosystem was proposed by George Gaylord Simpson:
$$D = 1 - \sum_{j=1}^n p_j^2, \; \rm{where} \; \sum_{j=1}^n p_j = 1 \; \rm{and} \; 0 \leq p_j \leq 1, \; {\rm for} \; 1 \leq j \leq n$$
See http://www.tiem.utk.edu/~mbeals/simpsonDI.html [Broken] from M. Bealls (Institute for Environmental Modeling, University of Kentucky), which uses a different and nonstandard form of Simpson's diversity index, but has the virtue of giving some data you can play with.

Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
4. Nov 29, 2007

Andre

If i understand the question correctly, it seems that you are looking for the species with the most variation in appearance. my guess would be Canis domesticus

5. Nov 29, 2007

Chris Hillman

I think Wolram intended to ask an unanswerable question to promote... discussion.

See a recent issue of American Scientist for the diverse appearance of the dog. But what about the diverse appearance of diatoms? http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/chromista/diatoms/diatommm.html

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6. Nov 29, 2007

moe darklight

forsooth!

http://www.eminemitalia.it/images/hiphoptimeline/snoop_dogg.jpg [Broken]

http://s.yottamusic.com/i/akGc.2Vs7 [Broken]

EDIT: you know, now that this thread made me think about it... humans all look ridiculously similar. I mean, take away haircuts, makeup, etc.. and I'd say, as far as geometric variety goes, we're quite monotonous and boring when compared to other species.

I think it's fascinating that we can tell each other apart so well, considering how freakishly similar our faces are.

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7. Nov 29, 2007

Andre

Diatoms are a class (Diatomacea) in the Phylum Chrysophyta of the Kingdom Protista.
Another single species candidate could be Poecillia reticulata, (Peters 1859)

How does a cat recognise a person? When I used to come home after work, I would be very silent. Eventually the cat, who regretfully past away last year, would stop monitoring the Poecillia reticulata's and would stare at me, wondering who I might be. That is, until I said something, then immediate the spark of recognition and an affectionate greeting ceremony would follow.

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8. Nov 29, 2007

wolram

Life has split two ways, plant and animal, one grows from the soil (environment) the animal lives from the other and procreates, that is the best distinction i can give.

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9. Nov 29, 2007

out of whack

So did you mean to ask "which is the most diverse animal or plant?" or "which is the more diverse, animal or plant?"

Behold the power of punctuation, among other things...

Last edited: Nov 29, 2007
10. Nov 29, 2007

wolram

11. Nov 29, 2007

Chris Hillman

Wolfram never specified "single species", in fact his statement of the challenge is not even self-consistent.

[EDIT: :rofl: one guppy does not belong with the others!]

Have you read Desmond Morris's book on the behavior of the "domestic" cat?

12. Nov 29, 2007

JasonRox

Overweight people look quite different naked!