In biology, a specimen is an individual animal, part of an animal, plant, part of a plant, or microorganism used as a representative to study the properties of the whole population of that species or subspecies. When a taxon is described, it is typically based on a single specimen, then referred to as the holotype.
Specimen may also refer to:
In medical laboratory
In rocks, gems, and minerals
- A piece of a type of rock, gem, or mineral taken from the earth. This can be anything from a jasper to a diamond.
- A type specimen is a publication that shows the available glyphs in a typeface, including variations used for ligatures and special ornaments.
- In handwriting recognition, forensic handwriting analysis and signature verification, the term sample refers to a specimen of handwriting.
- Central Banks send so-called Specimen banknote (or specimens) to other banks before issuing a new banknote. To avoid its use as a legal tender note the banknote is perforated or punched, given a serial number of 000000 (all zeroes), or is overprinted with the word "Specimen" or "Cancelled" in any language.
- Hauser, Steiner, Holstein & Scoble. eds. 2005. Digital Imaging of Biological Type Specimens: A Manual of Best Practice. State Museum of Natural History. ISBN 3000172408