Chuckle at the Original Lap Dog’s Taxonomic Hierarchy

For those of you with “average “dogs (as if any purebred dog is average), it may interest you to know that your dog has a taxonomic hierarchy, a biological classification of rank. It looks like this:

Kingdom:  Animalia
Subkingdom:  Bilateria
Infrakingdom: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclass: Tetrapoda
Class: Mammalia Linnaeus
Subclass: Theria
Infraclass: Eutheria
Order Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Family Canidae
Genus Canis
Species Canis lupus
Subspecies Canis lupus familiaris

Some breeds have been “gifted” an additional taxonomic name (probably in fun), breeds like the Boston Terrier. Interestingly, and not as a tongue in cheek exercise, 19th-century writers also gave small toy-sized spaniels a scientific name. It was rooted in a term that Dr. Caius, a 16th century English physician, had given the little dogs carried around by ladies of breeding of his time: “Comforter” dogs. We suppose that it seemed logical to those 19th century authors to give the species its own biological classification. We love what they came up with: “Canis consolator.”

Image: 19th Century engraving is titled: “Early Type of Toy Spaniels ” offered by AntiquePrintEmporium is available for purchase here.

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