Taxonomic Hierarchy

In biology, every organism has several taxonomic classifications; these classifications are taken from the taxonomic hierarchy. This hierarchical tree displays how all Earth organisms are related to each other.

Biological ClassificationTo illustrate this hierarchical tree, imagine a daffodil, ladybug, goldfish, human, cat, fox, jackal and dog.

Out of the three Domains that make up Life on Earth, the Eukarya is the most diverse domain. (The other two Domains are that of the Archaea, a group of single-celled organisms, and that of the Bacteria, very small organisms whose cells do not have a nucleus.)

This Eukarya Domain includes all organisms with complex cells, or a single cell with a complex structure; in these cells the genetic material is organized into chromosomes in the cell nucleus. Obviously, this includes the life forms listed above.

The Eukarya Domain is made up of Kingdoms; the Animal Kingdom being the most well known. This Kingdom includes all the animals listed above, from ladybug to dog, but excludes a plant like the daffodil.

The Animal Kingdom is made up of Phyla; the Phylum Chordata is one of the most interesting Phyla because it includes all vertebrates. That is to say, all mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds – to name a few – are part of this Phylum. Note that the ladybug is not part of this Phylum.

The Chordata Phylum is made up of Classes; the Mammal Class being the most dominant on Earth. Humans, cats, foxes, jackals, dogs and all other animals who suckle their young are part of this Class. This excludes the goldfish.

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”
– Mark Twain

The Class of Mammals is made up of Orders; if we take the Order of Carnivora, the carnivores, we would exclude human beings (who are the story telling member of the Order Primates, in the Family of the Hominidae, of the Genus Homo). This leaves us with the cat, fox, jackal and dog.

The Order of Carnivora is made up of Families; the fox, jackal and dog are part of the Family Canidae. That is, all dog-like animals. This excludes the cat.

The Family Canidae is made up of Genera. (The term comes from the Latin genus meaning “descent, family, type, gender”; from the Ancient Greek: γένος, “race, stock, kin”.) In our example, the fox is part of a different Genus than the jackal and the dog.

The Genus Canis is made up of Species; the most widely accepted definition of a species is ‘the largest group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring’. That brings us to the difference between a jackal (canis aureus) and a dog (canis lupus), who are part of the same genus, but are different species.

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
– Groucho Marx

Ezekiel 23:18-20

18 So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like as my mind was alienated from her sister.

19 Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

20 For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

See other: Often Ignored Bible Verses

Epsom Derby

The Derby Stakes, popularly known as The Derby, internationally as the Epsom Derby, is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain open to three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is scheduled for early June once a year.

Isinglass wins the Derby (1893)

1893, Isinglass wins the Derby

It is run at Epsom Downs over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs (a measure of distance in imperial units equal to one-eighth of a mile, equivalent to 220 yards, 660 feet, 40 rods, or 10 chains) and 10 yards. This imperial distance equals a total metric distance of 2,423 metres.

The name Derby has become synonymous with great races all over the world. However, the Epsom Derby is the original. It is one of Britain’s great national events transcending its own field of interest. In Great Britain the name Derby is always pronounced Dahr-bee, while in the USA it is incorrectly rendered as Der-bee.

It is Britain’s richest horse race, and the most prestigious of the country’s five Classics. It is sometimes referred to as the Blue Riband of the turf. The race serves as the middle leg of the Triple Crown, preceded by the 2,000 Guineas and followed by the St Leger, although the feat of winning all three is now rarely attempted.

The race itself has a long and rich history, of which some trivia is quite interesting to note:

  • 1805: One of the horses was brought down by a spectator.
  • 1825: Winning horse Middleton had never even learnt how to start a race and would never race again.
  • 1838: Winning horse Amato had never raced before winning the Derby, and would like the 1823 winner Middleton never race again.
  • 1844: The original winner Running Rein was disqualified as he was actually an ineligible four-year-old horse named Maccabeus.
  • 1887: The winning horse Merry Hampton wins the Derby without having ever won a race before – to this day it is the last horse to do so.
  • 1901: The first year in which a mechanical starting gate was used.
  • 1909: Winning horse Minoru was the first Derby winner owned by a reigning monarch, King Edward VII, who had previously won twice as Prince of Wales.
  • 1913: The 6/4 favourite Craganour, owned by Charles B. Ismay, brother of J. Bruce Ismay, one the directors of the White Star Line and survivor of the Titanic disaster, was controversially disqualified, the victory was subsequently awarded to the 100/1 outsider Aboyeur. Also, suffragette Emily Davison was tragically struck by King George V’s horse, Anmer, she died three days later.
  • 1921: The winner Humorist died two weeks after the race.
  • 1953: The horse Pinza wins the race for the jockey Sir Gordon Richards, after 27 unsuccessful attempts.
  • 1989: The runner-up Terimon is the longest-priced horse to finish the Derby at odds of 500/1.
  • 1996: Alex Greaves became the first (and so far only) lady jockey to ride in the race. She finished last on the filly Portuguese Lil.
  • 2008: Jim Bolger, the trainer of the winning horse New Approach, had left the horse entered for the race “by mistake”, having not initially intended to run.

Equestrian Terms

The state of an animal laying down that is unable to get up. May be due to illness or injury. Also occurs when a horse in a box stall rolls over against a wall, trapping its legs against the wall.


A dam with its calf of the Equus Ferus Caballus variety

The mother of a horse.

The skill of riding a horse.

False Martingale
A strap-in horse harness passing from the collar, through the horse’s legs to the belly band, to hold the collar in position. Unlike a true martingale it does not attach to the reins or head.

A castrated male horse of any age.

A maker of metal parts for harnesses, bridles, spurs, and other horse apparel.

Neigh or Whinny
The classic sound made by a horse. Generally a loud noise, described as a squeal followed by a nicker. Often is heard when a horse is looking for another horse or a person, sometimes used to call out to unseen animals.

Resting a foreleg; indicating soreness in that leg or foot.

Short-handled, flexible, weighted whip, of braided leather or rawhide.

The father of a horse.

The underlying solid structure or frame of a saddle, which is covered with leather.

A horse that is between 12 and 24 months of age.

11/iv mmxii

There are no wild moles in Ireland.


Herpestidae or Mongoose

The diet of the Mongoose partly consists of venomous snakes and eggs stolen out of the nest of the crocodile.

The badger and the sperm whale have a bone in their penises.

Horses are the only mammal that cannot vomit.

Los Angeles is the second-largest Mexican, Armenian, Korean, Filipino, Salvadorian and Guatemalan city in the world.