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One model for this siutaion is to use one table for the common elements (incuding acategory field, and sepete related tables for "properties_plant", "properties_mammal", etc. for the fields specific to each species subtype. This is a little more efficient than using a single table. Y
You could regard this set up as single parent table with altertiave child tables, or each subtype table as a parent table, all sharing a common child table conataining unoformly strctired data.
The drawbacks of using completely seprate tables is that when you decide there is new common field, there are many table to change, and that is it harder to search across mutiple subtypes
Alright. Thank you. The possibility of using parent and child tables hadn't crossed my mind yet. Interesting.