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Classification of life

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Christy Flinchum

on 26 March 2014

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Transcript of Classification of life

Classification of life
Organizing 1.7 Million species

Dichotomous Key
Used to identify organisms.

Consists of pairs of contrasting statements.
Today's Scientific Names
Consist of 2 Latin or Latinized names
All the members of a genus share the same genus name (first name)
The second name is called the species identifier, or specific epithet.
Modern Taxons
A Taxon is a basic level of classification.

Placement in a group depends on
Form and Structure
Shared Characteristics
Early Scientific Names
The Roots of Classification
Polynomials used for naming organisms: Long, descriptive, multi-word names
Similar species placed in the same genus
In 1750,
Carl Linnaeus
invented a universal naming system called binomial nomenclature.
Binomial nomenclature
= two part naming system
Common Names
Not Organized
One species may have multiple common names.
Both of these birds have the same common name
Apis mellifera
= common honeybee
How to TYPE: Genus capitalized, species lower case,
How to HAND-WRITE: Genus capitalized, species lower case,
Acinonyx jubatus = ???

Name means
"Thorn claw"
"Crested with mane"
Casuarius casuarius
= ???
Name means
"Helmet head"
Most inclusive level
nucleated cells... our cells!
The second level of hierarchy
A. Eubacteria
B. Archeabacteria
Prokaryotic single celled creatures
C. Protista
Eukaryotic, single celled
D. Fungi
Eukaryotic, multi-celled, heterotrophs
E. Plantae
Eukaryotic, multi-celled, autotrophs
F. Animalia
Eukaryotic, multi-celled, heterotrophs
Very inclusive
3. Phylum
4. Class
5. Order
6. Family
7. Genus
The plural of Genus is Genera
known as a
Division in
Organisms that are classified in the same genus are more closely related.
10. Phyla
One phylum contains the vertebrates-Chordata
Fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, mammals
10 other phyla contain the invertebrates such as sponges, worms, insects, and starfish

8. Species = unique group of organisms

a. United by heredity
b. Interbreed
c. Fertile offspring
d. Has a unique name
e. Basic unit of classification

Non-fertile offspring:
Mule (donkey X horse)
Tangelo (grapefruit X tangerine)
Beefalo (beef cattle X buffalo)

12. Systematics - similarities
a. Traditional - based on apparent similarities

b. Convergent Evolution: similarities develop due to similar environment, not genetic relationships

c. Analogous characters: similar characteristics in unrelated organisms (have the same function)

Analogous Characters
Similarity in some way between things that are otherwise dissimilar.
13. Phylogeny
a. Grouping organisms based on genetic relationship

b. Shown by phylogenetic tree

14. Cladistics
a. Modern Procedure for grouping organisms

b. Based on analogous characters (have the same function)


c. Phylogeny (genetics)

15. Cladistics
d. Look for Ancestral Shared Characters

e. Character that is found in common ancestor

f. Also called homologous structures

g. For example – lizard and salamander both have lungs

16. Look for derived characters
a. One group has character, another doesn’t (outgroup)

b. For example – salamander has four limbs, bluegill doesn't (outgroup)

Organisms are classified through hierarchy
Practice Problems!
According to this diagram, which species is the most recent common ancestor for B and C?

Which 2 species are most closely related?
Practice #2
Name the taxon that most closely relates:

Lutra and Mephitis

Domestic dog and wolf

Panthera and Canis

17. Methods of comparison

a. Fossil = remains of organisms from the ancient past
b. Compare extinct species with present day species
c. Helps us see how organisms have changed over time

1. The fossil record: fossils contained in sedimentary rock
Organize these animals
A. Make a list or chart of the animals, with three characteristics of each animal.

B. Group the animals according to the characteristics you chose.

1. Crocodile
2. Tuna Fish
3. Bullfrog
4. Gorilla
5. Rabbit

6. Robin
7. Shark
8. Salamander
9. Opossum
Methods of Comparison
2. Comparative embryology
(developmental biology) of vertebrate animals – dorsal nerve cord
a. Zygote - fertilized egg, one cell

b. Embryo - before birth, rapid cell growth

c. Embryo development - stages the embryo goes through before birth

This snake embryo has limbs, suggesting an ancestor had limbs.
Embryology continued
d. Similarities in embryos indicate shared ancestors and relatedness

e. Vertebrate embryos all have a bony tail, fine fur and pharyngeal pouches

f. Pharyngeal pouches in humans develop into the throat

Method of comparison, Pt 3
Biochemical comparisons
3. DNA is composed of a specific sequence of amino acids

a. Also called nucleotide sequence

b . The more similar the sequence when comparing species, the more likely they had common ancestors

c. And more similar characteristics

Comparison of Amino Acids in one protein

Rhesus monkey
# of different amino acids compared to human

Full transcript