Breed vs Species: Difference and Comparison

Earth is the ultimate source of living for thousands of life forms. Life forms have evolved drastically through the years. Plants, animals, birds, and humans are the basic life forms that reside on the planet.

Each of them has different races and types of their own, which they are categorised into. These categorisations given to them based on some similarity or the other are known as Breed and Species.

Key Takeaways

  1. Breeds are different variations within a species, developed through selective breeding to enhance specific traits, such as size or coat color in dogs.
  2. Species are unique groups of organisms that can interbreed and produce fertile offspring, with each species sharing common genetic and physical characteristics.
  3. Breeding focuses on improving or maintaining specific traits, while conservation efforts aim to preserve the genetic diversity of various species.

Breed vs Species

The difference between Breed and Species is that Breed is a group of animals that belong to the same species but have distinctive features, whereas, Species is a group of animals having similar features and breed to develop offspring of their own. The categorization is done based on physical features, food habits, adaptive mechanisms, location etc. A species consists of organisms that belong to various breeds.

Breed vs Species

A breed is a unit of classification which is done among individuals having distinctive characteristics but homogenous appearance. Generally, domestic animals are grouped under this category.

Selective genes are the basis of the production of a breed. The organisms are artificially selected and cannot mate naturally to produce offspring.

On the other hand, a Species is a unit of classification which is done based on an individual or a group of individuals having similar characteristics. Plants, animals and microorganisms are grouped under this category.

It consists of varieties of breeds under it. The individuals are selected naturally and are capable of natural reproduction to produce offspring.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBreedSpecies
DefinitionWhen individuals of the same species have the same appearance, it is called a breed. A group of individuals having common characteristics is called a species.
Composed ofIt is composed of domestic animals.It is composed of plants, animals and microorganisms.
SizeIt is smaller in comparison.It is larger with several breeds.
SubdivisionNo subdivisions are there.Subdivisions are present.
SelectionArtificial methods are used for selection.They are naturally selected.
OffspringOffspring is produced through artificial breeding.The individuals are naturally capable of producing offspring.
VariationsThey have a lower number of variations in comparison. They have a higher number of variations.

What is Breed?

When the individuals having homogenous features are brought together, it is called a Breed. Different types of breeds belong to a particular species.

A breed is produced by artificial means, i.e. selective genes. Breeding is done to produce domestic animals.

Individuals that belong to the same breed have similarities in terms of their appearance, behaviour, characteristics etc. These features distinguish one breed from the other that are classified under the same species.

Breeding is prominently used for agriculture and animal husbandry. However, scientifically, the term has several definitions.

Methods such as genetic isolation, natural adaptation or selective breeding are used to produce various breeds. Therefore, consistency is important in a breed so that mating is carried out successfully to produce a similar kind of offspring.

When two individuals are bred together, the offspring produced contains similar traits as of parents, called breeding true.

The breed traits are passed from generation to generation. This is why individuals belonging to the same breed have so much in common with their foundation animal.

However, genetic faults or defects do sometimes occur, which result in inconsistency among breeds.

breed 1

What is Species?

When individuals having similar characteristics capable of producing offspring with each other are brought together, it is called a Species.

The primary feature of a species is to be able to exchange genes with each other. This is termed Gene flow. The name of a species is composed of two parts: a generic name and a specific name.

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A species contains individuals that come from various breeds.

Sometimes, the dissimilar organisms of a particular species get separated due to physical, behavioural and reproductive changes, which result in Speciation, i.e. new individuals having a distinctive feature from the existing species appear.

Species is otherwise known as the basic unit of classification. It has the largest bunch of individuals grouped under it. This gives rise to unclear boundaries between species that are closely related.

Plants, animals and microorganisms that are grouped under different species may have a few similarities or relations with other species as well.

Sub-divisions of species also exist, known as sub-species or microspecies. This results in deviations from the definitions sometimes. There is no specific definition for the term ‘species’ that applies to all types of organisms.

Asexual reproduction, Hybridization, Breeding issues and Ring species are the factors affecting the identification of a species.

species

Main Differences Between Breed and Species

  1. A breed has a homogenous appearance within a species, while a species has similar characteristics.
  2. A species is comprised of all types of organisms, while a breed is comprised of domestic animals only.
  3. Species is larger in comparison to breed.
  4. Breeds are selected through artificial methods, while species are selected naturally.
  5. A breed has comparatively low variations than that of a species.
  6. Subdivisions of a species exist, while there is no subdivision of a breed.
  7. Organisms of a species are capable of mating naturally and producing offspring. But in breeds, artificial breeding methods are used for developing offspring.
Difference Between Breed and Species
References
  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history/article/race-ethnicity-species-breed-totemism-and-horsebreed-classification-in-america/F5F6EE18BDB8172CDA053AF0B9FF77A9
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921448802002353

Last Updated : 17 August, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Breed vs Species: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article effectively highlights the significance of selective genes, artificial breeding, and natural reproduction in delineating the differences between breeds and species.

    Reply
    • I found the explanation of genetic faults or defects occurring in breeds and the role of gene flow in defining species particularly informative.

      Reply
  2. The in-depth comparison between breeds and species has helped me gain a clearer understanding of the distinctions, particularly the variations, size, and subdivision differences.

    Reply
    • I concur, the article provides a well-structured comparison that effectively delineates the key attributes of breeds and species.

      Reply
  3. The detailed explanation of breeds and species enhances the understanding of the unique features and reproduction methods in each category, particularly their similarities and differences.

    Reply
    • I appreciate the comprehensive overview of breed traits being passed down through generations and gene flow defining species.

      Reply
    • Agreed, the article effectively conveys the distinctions between breeds and species, emphasizing their relevance in understanding the diversity of life forms.

      Reply
  4. The article effectively explains how breeding and conservation efforts differ in their goals. It’s interesting to see the contrast between the artificial selection of breeds and natural selection of species.

    Reply
    • I found it fascinating as well. The distinction between selective genes for breeding and natural reproduction for species is an eye-opening revelation.

      Reply
  5. The detailed explanation of breeding and species is insightful, emphasizing the importance of genetic isolation, natural adaptation, and selective breeding in developing various breeds.

    Reply
  6. The article provides a comprehensive comparison between breeds and species, highlighting their definitions, variations, and methods of production that enhance our understanding of the diversity of life forms.

    Reply
    • I found the explanation of the gene flow and speciation particularly intriguing, emphasizing the dynamic nature of species and their creation of new individuals.

      Reply
  7. The comparison between breeds and species is presented in a thorough manner, shedding light on the difference in size, subdivisions, and selection methods for each category.

    Reply
    • I appreciate the detailed explanation of the parameters of comparison, which makes it easier to understand the nuanced distinctions between breeds and species.

      Reply
  8. The article provides an excellent overview of what constitutes a breed, emphasizing the significance of traits, artificial breeding methods, and production of offspring.

    Reply
  9. The section on species offers a comprehensive understanding of the exchange of genes, speciation, and the generic and specific names composing a species. Very well-explained.

    Reply
    • The explanation of speciation and the role of physical, behavioral, and reproductive changes in creating new individuals within a species is particularly intriguing.

      Reply
  10. This article provides an informative and comprehensive understanding of the differences between breeds and species. It is clear and well-organized, making it easy to comprehend even for those with no prior knowledge of the subject.

    Reply

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