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Type Stories

Last updated over 4 years ago

A type is a specimen (an organism, a part of an organism, or an illustration) to which the application of a scientific name is formally attached. Types are of great significance to biologists because they determine the validity of scientific names. For many species, there is more than one type. This is because a single type specimen (holotype) may not have been designated when the species was described. Even if there is a holotype, the species author may also have provided a whole type series consisting of several specimens. Types can get damaged or lost and may then be replaced with other type specimens. In some species, there are interesting stories and controversies involving type specimens.