Introduction

Classification II

Classification is the placing of living things in a series of increasingly specialized group. This is based on their similarities and difference in structure and origin that indicate a common relationship.

General Principles of classification

Taxonomy is the study of grouping of organisms according to their relationship.

Modern classification is based on mainly structural similarities and differences. There are seven taxonomical units that organisms can classified.

  • Kingdom
  • Phylum (Plural: Phyla) or division in plants
  • Class
  • Order
  • Family
  • Genus
  • Species

The kingdom is the first and largest rank and species is the last and smallest

A Species is a group of organisms that can freely and naturally interbreed to give rise to a fertile (Viable) offspring. An example is goats interbreed to produce goats because they belong to same species.

In animals except human beings, the term breed is used while in plants the term variety is preferred.

Binomial Nomenclature

This a system of giving two names to organisms. It was pioneered by a scientist called Carolus Linnaeus and the names given are Generic (genus) and Specific (Species).

Procedures followed

  1. The generic name is written first followed by specific name
  2. The firsts letter in generic name must be a capital letter and the rest are small letters.
  3. The specific name is written in small letters
  4. The two names are underlined when typed or handwritten. The names are italicized (written in Italic) when printed to indicate that the names are specific.

The Five Kingdoms of Classification

There are five kingdoms advanced by Carolus and are generally accepted classification. These are Monera, Protoctista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia.