Author's note: these pages were written some years ago. I am not planning to update them. For a more current coverage, see the link to palaeos com Palaeos website (to which many links on these pages point to anyway. More info here


In the Linnean system (and taxonomic systems based on it), the Family is a taxonomic category between Order and Tribe.  It might seem strange that a family is considered higher than a tribe (i.e.e a family can contain many tribes, but not vice versa), but such is the way these names are.  When there are no Tribes, the Family is a taxonomic category between Order and Genus.   More even then an order, a family is a group of organisms among which the differences are quite minor, e.g. Equiidae - horses and their relatives, Ceratopsidae - horned dinosaurs, or Wikipedia link Hominidae, man and ape-men (although again the differences among Hominids are extremely slight, here we see a chauvanistic taxonomic inflation, elevated a probably genus rank to family ranking).  Some families contain thousands of species, otehrs might only have a single species.
rank suffix
Magnafamily - idea
Superfamily - oidea or -acea
Family - idae
Subfamily -inae


Page History

page uploaded 27 May 1999