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The evolution of one species into others is called speciation.

Subspecies are groups at the first stage of speciation ; individuals of different subspecies sometimes interbreed, but they produce many sterile male offspring. At the second stage are incipient species, or semispecies; individuals of these groups rarely interbreed, and all their male offspring are sterile. Natural selection separates incipient species into sibling species, which do not mate at all but which in morphology , or structure and form, are nearly indistinguishable.

Sibling species then evolve into morphologically and taxonomically different species. Because it is often difficult to distinguish between subspecies and stable species, another criterion has been developed that involves a historical, or phylogenetic , dimension. In this form, a species is separated from another when there is a parental pattern of ancestry and descent.

Speciation may occur in many ways.

Defining ‘species’ is a fuzzy art

A population may become geographically separated from the rest of its species and never be rejoined. Through the process of adaptive radiation, this population might evolve independently into a new species, changing to fit particular ecological niches in the new environment and never requiring natural selection to complete its reproductive isolation from the parent species.

Within the new environment , populations of the new species might then radiate into species themselves. A famous example of adaptive radiation is that of the Galapagos finches.

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The evidence for speciation formerly was found in the fossil record by tracing successive changes in the morphology of organisms. Genetic studies now show that morphological change does not always accompany speciation, as many apparently identical groups are, in fact, reproductively isolated. The identification of lineages in species developed tremendously following the advent of molecular biology. Certain kinds of molecular information, especially DNA sequences, can provide clearer support than morphological data ever could for species identification, particularly when species clusters are similar in appearance.

Molecular characters can often be identified less ambiguously than morphological characters. Species identification is extremely important for the conservation of biodiversity , but achieving a reasonable estimate of the total number of species on Earth has been elusive. The overwhelming majority of the 8. Yet large numbers of animals and plants have not been studied. For example, more than , species of flowering plants are known, but their true number may be closer to ,, with about 2, species being discovered each year. Researchers are more confident in the counts of some groups of plants, such as trees of which there are slightly more than 60, species , and some groups of animals, such as mammals of which there are slightly more than 5, species.

We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. They then receive transmissions from an alien source on how to create endless fuel effortlessly.

Identifying and cataloging species

Therefore, the scientists assume that this is a friendly alien species. From a second alien transmission, the scientists receive information about an alien DNA along with instructions on how to splice it with human DNA. A government team led by Xavier Fitch Ben Kingsley goes forward with the genetic experiment attempting to induce a female, under the later proved to be mistaken assumption that a female would have "more docile and controllable" traits.

One of the hundred experimental ova produces a girl named Sil, who looks like a normal human but develops into a year-old in 3 months. Sil's violent outbursts during sleep make the scientists consider her a threat. They try to kill her using cyanide gas but she breaks out of her containment cell and escapes. The government assembles a team composed of anthropologist Dr. Stephen Arden Alfred Molina , molecular biologist Dr. Sil matures rapidly into an adult Natasha Henstridge in her early twenties and makes her way to Los Angeles.

Her body strength, regenerative ability and intelligence make tracking her extremely difficult. The scientists fear she may mate with human males and produce offspring that could eliminate the human race. Sil is intent on producing offspring as soon as possible, and kills several people to prevent them from notifying the authorities or simply to use their clothing. Sil first tries to mate with a man she meets at a nightclub Anthony Guidera , but after sensing that he is diabetic , she rejects him. Unsatisfied, he tries to rape her, prompting her to kill him by puncturing his skull with her tongue.

She then tries to mate with John Carey Whip Hubley , a man she meets after a car accident.


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They swim in Carey's pool where Sil forces him to open his swimming trunks in order to mate, but he refuses. This act is interrupted by Preston and Laura. She kills Carey, morphing into her alien form, a bipedal mutant with tentacles on her shoulders and back, and flees naked into a forest without being seen by the team. She pretends to be a rape victim to kidnap a woman Marliese K.


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Schneider in order to assume her identity. Sitting in the car near Carey's home, she reads Fitch's lips, as she had done earlier, learning of their plan to stake out the Nightclub for her return.

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There, she is seen by Dan, prompting a car chase. She fakes her death by crashing the car, which she has previously filled with gasoline containers, into a high-voltage transformer, using the kidnapped woman as a stand-in for her own body.

Species - Wikipedia

After cutting and dyeing her hair, Sil takes an attraction to Preston, having dreamt of him the previous night. After the team celebrates their apparent victory, she stalks them in their hotel, and they do not recognize her.


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  • Arden, who is upset at being single, walks into his room to find Sil waiting there. She has intercourse with Arden, which results in her instantly getting impregnated by him, then kills him when he realizes who she is. Dan senses that Sil is in the hotel and he alerts Preston, Laura, and the rest of the team. She morphs again and escapes and they follow her into the sewers where Fitch is subsequently killed.

    Sil gives birth and Dan finds her offspring in a cavern behind the sewers. The child attacks him and he incinerates it, also killing Sil. The trio leaves the area. The last scene shows a rat chewing on one of Sil's severed tentacles; it starts to mutate into a vicious beast and attacks another rat.

    Given Sil grows rapidly and kills humans with ease, at a certain point film character Dr. Laura Baker even speculates if she was a biological weapon sent by a species who thought humans were like an intergalactic weed. Feldman declared that he wanted to explore this theme further in the script, as it discussed mankind's place in the universe and how other civilizations would perceive and relate to humanity, considering that "maybe [humans are] not a potential threat, maybe a competitor, maybe a resource.

    George compares the character of Fitch to "an updated Dr. Frankenstein ," [5] and explores the development of Sil's maternal aspirations, which convert the character into an " archaic mother " figure similar to the xenomorph creature in the Alien series, both of which are, she claims, portrayed negatively. A five-year investigation into accounts of the chupacabra , a well known cryptid , revealed that the original sighting report of the creature in Puerto Rico by Madeline Tolentino may have been inspired by the character Sil.

    This was detailed in paranormal investigator and skeptic Benjamin Radford 's book Tracking the Chupacabra. Dennis Feldman had the idea for Species in , as he worked on another film about an alien invasion , [8] Real Men. Clarke about the insurmountable odds against an extraterrestrial craft ever locating and visiting Earth, given that stellar distances are great, and faster-than-light travel is unlikely, Feldman started to think that it was "unsophisticated for any alien culture to come here in what [he]'d describe as a big tin can.

    Instead of a mechanical device, Feldman imagined wetware. He pointed out that "in nature, one species would not want a predator to know where it hides. Therefrom emerged a film treatment called The Message.