Life is complex. In biology, scientists try to organize every one of the living things on earth through taxonomy. Taxonomy is a an approach of arranging this living points (taxis: arrangement, -nomia: method) and we have Linnaeus to say thanks to for it.

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Taxonomy is based upon a hierarchy of classification; the lower you walk in the hierarchy, the much more closely connected the living things are. This groups, from biggest to smallest are Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. When I was in high school, ns learned a mnemonic come remember the order of taxonomic classification: Did King Phillip Come Over For Good Spaghetti?

To make category simpler, let’s pick two species and follow them v the hierarchy. Let’s compare the trained cat (Felis catus) and humans (Homo sapiens).

The biggest layer the the category hierarchy is Domain. There are 3 domains: Archaea, Bacteria, and also Eukarya. Cats and humans room in Eukarya, therefore we’ll follow that path.

The next layer is Kingdom. There room 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista, Archaea, and also Bacteria. Cats and humans are in Animalia, therefore we’ll follow the path.

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Classification power structure (via Wikimedia Commons)

Next is Phylum. The kingdom Animalia contains about 35 phyla. Cats and also humans room in Chordata.

Next us have Class. The lower we go in the pecking order the much more and an ext choices us have. Cats and also humans room in the course Mammalia.

Next is Order. Up until this point, humans and cats have fallen under the same classification. Cats space in the order Carnivora, while human beings are in the bespeak Primates. In plants, the suffix -ales denotes an order.

Next us have Family. Now the groups are obtaining much smaller. Cats are in the family Felidae, while human beings are in the family Hominidae. The suffix -dae is offered to represent a family members within animals, while in plants -aceae serves the same function.

Genus is a frequently used level that classification. Cats room in the genus Felis, while people are in the genus Homo.

Species is the most details (pun intended) level of classification. When writing a types name, both the genus and species names are required. Cat are Felis catus and humans are Homo sapiens.

These aren’t the only levels of classification. In between levels there are superorders and suborders and also tribes and also subspecies and also other tiny levels of subdivision. For example, humans are part of the tribe Homini. The use of this subdivisions is an exception, not a rule. Many types makes it every the means through the taxonomic hierarchy without using any subdivisions.

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The most important thing come remember as soon as it involves taxonomy is that this mechanism was entirely made up by human beings to define the world roughly us. We’re not perfect and sometimes points don’t fit neatly right into these small boxes and also the whole tree of life has to be redrawn. Regardless, taxonomy is a useful means for researchers to categorize and also understand the world.