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WHAT IS CLASSIFICATION IN BIOLOGY

With a vast number of living organisms in the world today, it is essential to group organisms according to their characteristics. Biological classification is the scientific arrangement of organisms both living and extinct in the hierarchy of groups and subgroups based on their features. The scientific classification in biology is known as taxonomy.

Taxonomy is important because, by identification of organisms, problems of mistaken identities get solved. It also aids us in understanding the relationship between different groups of organisms. In addition to that, we get to be informed about the evolutionary history of different organisms.

The eight major classification in biology that is used to organize the correlation between organisms are Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species

Classification in biology based on Domain

This is the broadest group. It's organized in Archaea, Eubacteria, and Eukaryote.

Classification in biology based on Kingdoms

Most scientists agree that there are six kingdoms currently. It is known as the six-kingdom classification system. They include Animals, Plants, Protists, Fungi, Eubacteria, and Archaea.

Animal Kingdom

The kingdom Animalia is the largest. Organisms in this kingdom are characterized by heterotrophic , meaning they obtain their energy by consuming food, are multicellular and have no cell walls.

Plant Kingdom

Also known as kingdom Plantae in Latin is the second largest kingdom. Species in this kingdom are multicellular ,and have eukaryotic cells. They are autotrophic, meaning they synthesize their food by the process of photosynthesis.

Kingdom Protista

This is a hodgepodge group which consists of protists. They are organisms that do not fit into any other categories since they manifest both animal and plant properties. They are unicellular, but some are multicellular such as the kelp. They can be both heterotrophic, meaning they get their energy by consuming other organisms and autotrophs which means they can make their food through photosynthesis. Protists can be found primarily in water or damp soils.

Kingdom Fungi

Members of the fungi kingdom are eukaryotes. This means that they have complex cells that contain a nucleus and other organelles. They are multicellular except the single-celled yeast. Fungi have feathery filaments known as hyphae and are all heterotrophic. They grow like parasites on other organisms and take up nutrients. Mushrooms and mold lie in this kingdom.

Kingdom Archaebacteria or Archaea

It is made up of single-celled organisms. They are believed to be the earliest life forms on earth; hence their name Archaea which means ancient in Latin. They do not have a definite cell structure and have their genetic material outside the cell nucleus. Members of the kingdom are prokaryotes and can survive in extreme conditions such as volcanoes, environments with little or no oxygen and acidic springs.

Kingdom Eubacteria

Eubacterium comprises of unicellular organisms. These organisms are prokaryotes meaning they lack a membrane-bound nucleus and organelles, and their cells lack mitochondria. Some species in this category make their food while others do not. Some species in this kingdom could be beneficial to humans while others cause harm. Their cell walls consist of peptidoglycan.

Classification in biology based on Phylum

The phylum is the third in hierarchy after kingdom in the taxonomy of living things. The main aim of the phylum is to find physical characteristics that are similar in a kingdom. The similarities will, therefore, suggest that the organisms in question have a common ancestry.

There are over thirty different phyla in kingdom Animalia. The plant kingdom, however, is divided into divisions instead of Phyla. An example is a red fox from the kingdom Animalia which belongs to the phylum Chordata.

Classification in biology based on Class

It is also a major taxonomic category below the phylum. Using the red fox as an example, it belongs to the class Mammalia. This rank also comprises of organisms with common traits. It is a comprehensive classification which splits into orders.

Order and family

Under the class, the next rank is order then family. Human beings belong to order Primate and family Hominidae.

Genus

Genus is the rank below the family and above the species. A genus includes more than one species that are firmly similar in characteristics.

Species

Species represent a group of organisms that are related and can interbreed to produce viable offspring. The genus and species help in assigning scientific names in taxonomy. This system is called binomial nomenclature. The scientific name for humans is Homo from the genus and sapiens from the species making Homo sapiens.

Biological classification is not faultless as there is still a lot of disagreement and precariousness about organism classifications. If science had no known way of organizing organisms, it would be difficult to obtain any information about the living things in the world we live in. However, thanks to the great minds that brought forward taxonomy, we can now classify living things with no problem whatsoever. For more information and genetics homework help, contact us at any time for assistance.

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