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Classifying Organisms

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Alicia Bartels

on 14 December 2015

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Transcript of Classifying Organisms

Classifying Organisms
Early Classification Systems
First person to classify living organisms was Aristotle.
The Classification System of Linnaeus
In 1750's, a scientist named Linnaeus expanded on Aristotle's ideas and used observations as the basis of his system.
The second part of an organism's scientific name is it's species; a
species
is a group of similar organisms that can mate and produce fertile offspring.
Classification Today
The theory of evolution changed the way biologists think about classification.
Using the Classification System
To help identify an organism, you would create a field guide, book with illustrations that highlight differences between similar-looking organisms.
Why do scientists classify?
Today, scientists have identified at least 1.7 million kinds of organisms on Earth.
This number includes all forms of life, from plants to bacteria, so biologists have organized all these to help when studying different organisms.
Classification
is the process of grouping things based on their similarities.
Biologists use classification to organize living things into groups so that organisms are easier to study.
The scientific study of how living things are classified is called
taxonomy
, which is useful to scientists once an organism is classified.
He recorded each animal's appearance, behavior, and movement and divided animals into 3 groups:
those that fly, those that swim, and those that walk, crawl, or run.
He noticed that, though they moved in similar ways, there were still differences; so he divided into subgroups.
This ideal was used by modern scientists to create the classification system scientist use today.
Linnaeus used his observations of animals to form groups as well as a naming system for organisms.
Linnaeus's naming system,
binomial

nomenclature
, gives each organism a two-part name.
The first part of an organism's scientific name is its genus; a
genus
is a classification grouping that contains similar, closely related organism.
For example: pumas, ocelots, and house cats are all classified in a genus
Felis
; organisms that have sharp, retractable claws and behaviors such as hunting.
This name sets different organisms in the same genus apart.
Often describes a distinctive feature of an organism, like where it lives or its color.
Together, a genus and species names one, specific organism.
Scientific names are in Latin, the universal language used in Linnaeus's time.
Scientific names are italicized, genus first letter is capitalized, and species first letter is lowercase.
ex
: Homo sapiens
Today, scientists understand that certain organisms are similar because they share a common ancestor.
Today's system of classification considers the history of a species when classifying the species.
Species with similar evolutionary histories are classified more closely together.
7 Levels of Classification
Organisms are grouped based on their similarities.
First an organism is placed into a broad group, which in turn is divided into more specific groups.
7 Levels:
Kingdom
: broadest level of organization.
Phyla
(
Phylum
): within kingdoms.
Classes
: within phyla.
Order
: within classes.
Family
: within orders.
Genus
: each family contains at least one genus.
Species
: within a genus, identifies a single organism.
A different way to identify organisms is called a
taxonomy

key
; a series of paired statements that describe the physical characteristics of different organisms.
First, read the paired statements that are opposite and decide which are true.
Then, follow direction at the end of the statements to identify the organism.
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