Can you please clearly explain the following:
I know that in evolutionary terms "success" can be defined in many different ways.
What are they most successful organisms you can think of in terms of
(a) persistence over time
(b) sheer numbers of individuals alive now
(c) numbers of species and
(d) geographical range
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These are the subsections that you have listed regarding the success of organisms in evolutionary terms:
a) Persistence over time
(b) Sheer numbers of individuals alive now.
(c) Numbers of species and
(d) Geographical range
When answering questions do read the question carefully.
(See comment about this at the end of the answer)
N.B An important point here is about reading the question and not to make assumptions, it does say which organisms not which animals and therefore you have the scope to choose and reason an argument over the whole of the five kingdoms.
There are different schools of thought. Evolution remains a very contentious and controversial subject, however usually viruses are not considered as living organisms and the living world is divided into 5 (although some biologists argue 4) main kingdoms.
i.e. Prokaryotes/ bacteria
Protoctista / protozoa and slime moulds
Here are some suggestions in order to give you some guidance:
1. Persistence over time:
In terms of persistence over time, it is an important issue to refer to an evolutionary time scale.
I've attached one below if it does not come with this file then use a "Google Search on the Internet" type in the words "Evolutionary Time Scale " then select "Images".
Similarly, it is an important issue to appreciate that in terms of Biology there is a sequence of events in that simpler organisms evolved before more complex ones.
I've also included a diagram to help with this: again it is available from the ...
Why have some species been so successful and survived for so many millions of years, why are some species so widespread in their distribution and why is there such biological diversity and distribution of species over such a wide geographical range. These are the questions considered here.