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The term phylum was coined in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel from the Greek phylon (φῦλον, "race, stock"), related to phyle (φυλή, "tribe, clan"). Haeckel noted that species constantly evolved into new species that seemed to retain few consistent features among themselves and therefore few features that distinguished them as a group ("a self-contained unity"). "Wohl aber ist eine solche reale und vollkommen abgeschlossene Einheit die Summe aller Species, welche aus einer und derselben gemeinschaftlichen Stammform allmählig sich entwickelt haben, wie z. B. alle Wirbelthiere. Diese Summe nennen wir Stamm (Phylon). " which translates as: However, perhaps such a real and completely self-contained unity is the aggregate of all species which have gradually evolved from one and the same common original form, as, for example, all vertebrates. We name this aggregate [a] Stamm [i. e. , race] (Phylon). ) In plant taxonomy, August W. Eichler (1883) classified plants into five groups named divisions, a term that remains in use today for groups of plants, algae and fungi. The definitions of zoological phyla have changed from their origins in the six Linnaean classes and the four embranchements of Georges Cuvier.

The Catalogue of Life includes Rhodophyta and Glaucophyta in kingdom Plantae, [39] but other systems consider these phyla part of Protista. [40]What made you want to look up phylum ? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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