what are the rules I need to follow to name different races of a specie and different species that have one ancestor in common ?

Additionally how do i know when a race becomes a species ?

Is an humanoid primate predator with a giant mouth and shark teeth , eight large eyes. has over human intelligence ,incredibly agility and strength. Reproduces asexually but can mate with people too. This animal evolved particularly to hunt other humans.

Can this creature be considered a different race of homo sapiens or is a new species ?

More details :

This ''shakrtooth'' humanoid arose from an oppressed tribe victimized by a virus that mutated every cell of their body. This tribe survived for centuries by feeding on dead soldiers cause there was no other source of food.

Soon after the end of war they started hunting other weaker tribes and after millions of years this is how they look like enter image description here

Sorry for the image but I'm not the best at sculpting....

  • $\begingroup$ Is this for a setting based on our earth, an alternative earth or a different world all together? $\endgroup$ – Martine Votvik Jul 4 '16 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ Future post apocalyptic earth were humanity divided in tribes and clans for thousands million of years $\endgroup$ – άλεξ μιζέρια Jul 4 '16 at 17:24

The rules for naming species go along these lines:

The species name comes in the form of Genus name with capital letter followed by species name with no capitalisation. Then subspecies name (if there is one). For example:

  • The polar bear is Ursus maritimus.
  • Its close relative the brown bear is Ursus arctos. Same genus name, different species name.
  • Some subspecies of the brown bear are Ursus arctos horribilis (grizzly) and Ursus arctos arctos (European brown bear).

When a race (or subspecies) becomes a species: the definition of 'species' for sexually reproducing creatures is a naturally interbreeding population which can produce viable offspring, which in turn can interbreed to produce viable grandchildren. So horses and donkeys are separate species (both in Equus genus) because they don't interbreed naturally - people are involved in getting them to mate and create mules. Also nearly all mules are infertile, so there are no grandkids.

So your sharktooth people having sex with regular humans is not enough to make them the same species as us. There have to be kids and grandkids produced from that regular human/sharktooth sex. If those kids and grandkids are fertile with both sharktooth people and regular people then the sharktooths would still count as the same species as us: Homo sapiens.

That said, features such as giant shark teeth, 8 eyes and so on sound like massive amounts of genetic change! If we found something like this in the fossil record, palaeontologists would invent an entirely new genus for it, because it is just too radically different to be put in genus Homo with us, the Neanderthals, Homo erectus, and so on.

In fact they'd probably invent a new family or order! After all, it is the only mammal on the planet with 8 eyes!

How far back do you want your common ancestor of humans and sharktooths to have existed? Our own species is quite young - probably only been around for 300,000 thousand years. Genus Homo has been around about 2.8 million years. If they've been around for more than 2.8 million years, they will not be genus Homo, and not that closely related to us. Perhaps they evolved from Australopithecus or some other 'apeman'?

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    $\begingroup$ added just some details , hope it's more clear now $\endgroup$ – άλεξ μιζέρια Jul 4 '16 at 18:02
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks. If they've been around for MILLIONS of years, then the only way they would still be Homo sapiens species is for them to have been interbreeding with regular people EVERY generation. And there are 40,000 generations in 1 million years! So from the length of time and the radical redesign of the human skull to fit in all those eyes (and make a biting attack worthwhile, if they do that), I'd say they are a new species. Homo carcharodon (sharp toothed man) or you can invent a new genus name too. Millions of years is a long time. The regular humans may not be Homo sapiens any more. $\endgroup$ – DrBob Jul 5 '16 at 10:02

Given the large morphological differences, offspring of human/sharkman breeding would only be viable if they take strongly after one parent or another, ie they are either sharkmen or human or stillborn. So ability to breed successfully here implies that genetic difference is much smaller than difference in appearance suggests. Thus the sharkmen would be human, IMHO.

Since they are morphologically distinct (and breed true), I'd go with subspecies status.

Sorry to be vague, but species definitions are kind of fuzzy and when applied to fictional species...


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