In biology, a  is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of .

A is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can  fertile offspring, typically by sexual .

Other ways of defining include their karyotype,  sequence, morphology, behaviour or  niche.

In , paleontologists use the of the chronospecies since fossil  cannot be examined.

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