Chapter 9 taxonomy
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Chapter 9 - Taxonomy. Taxonomy – the science of classifying organisms – has two purposes:. To identify the organism To represent relationships among them. History of Taxonomy:.

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Chapter 9 - Taxonomy

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Chapter 9 - Taxonomy


Taxonomy – the science of classifying organisms – has two purposes:

  • To identify the organism

  • To represent relationships among them


History of Taxonomy:

  • Aristotle – believed in the “ladder of nature” – sponges were at the bottom and humans were at the top – he classified things as either plants or animals ( see fig.1 pg.326)


9.1 Taxonomic Systems

  • Carl Linnaeus- 18th century – he classified organisms based on structure

  • The more features organisms have in common, the closer their relationship


He introduced binomial nomenclature: a 2 name system for naming organism using Latin or Greek ( Latin is a dead language)

  • Ex. Castor Canadensis – beaver

  • Genus species - the Genus name is always a capital letter


The 2 names indicate similarities in anatomy, embryology & evolution ancestry

  • Ex. – Ursus americanus

  • Ursus horribilis

  • koala bear Genus: PhascolarctosSpecies: cinereus

  • Panda bear Genus Ailuropoda


Modern Taxonomy

  • Today we use these major categories and evidence to support classification:

  • Fossil records – they provide clues, but are rarely complete

  • Anatomy – a) homologous structures – similar in structure but may have different functions

  • b) vestigial structures – structures that once had a purpose but no longer serve a function

  • Comparative embryology – ex. – all vertebrates have a stage as an embryo where they look alike

  • Comparative biochemistry – comparing DNA, genes and proteins


Fossil Records


Homologous Structures


Vestigial Structures


Comparative Embryology


Comparative Biochemistry


Levels of ClassificationOrganisms are classified based on 7 taxa (levels)

  • King Phyl Came Over For Good Spaghetti

  • Kingdom

  • Phylum

  • Class

  • Order

  • Family

  • Genus

  • Species


Until recently organisms were grouped into 5 kingdoms:


Now it is believed that Monera should be 2 separate kingdoms: Eubacteria


And Archaebacteria


Phylogeny – the history of the evolution of organisms – often shown in a diagram called a phylogenetic tree – see pg.329


A three Domain system of Classification


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