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5.5 Classification. Binomial System of Nomenclature. System of classifying organisms based on two (“bi”), names (“ nomial ”), which are organized in a system (“nomenclature”) Ex: we are Homo sapiens First word capitalized (refers to the genus)

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binomial system of nomenclature
Binomial System of Nomenclature
  • System of classifying organisms based on two (“bi”), names (“nomial”), which are organized in a system (“nomenclature”)
  • Ex: we are Homo sapiens
    • First word capitalized (refers to the genus)
    • Second word not capitalized (refers to the species)
    • Both words italicized when typed or underlined when handwritten
    • Typically words are Latin or Greek

This binomial nomenclature system for naming and organizing species was popularized by Carolus (Carl) Linnaeus

  • Why should we organize organisms like this?
    • Helps make sense of the biosphere
    • Helps show evolutionary links
    • Helps predict characteristics shared by many members of a group
    • Keeps consistency between scientists of various areas, languages, cultures

The Seven Taxa

  • The correct order for classifying organisms is Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species
    • Create a mnemonic device and write it in your notes so you can correctly remember the order
dichotomous key
Dichotomous Key
  • A key or flowchart that is used by answering questions as yes or no in order to determine which order, genus, or species an organism belongs to

Dichotomous Key –Family: Candae

1a. Candy contains chocolate … 2

1b. Candy contains no chocolate … 5

2a. Candy contains nuts … 3

2b. Candy contains no nuts … 6

3a. Candy is square … Snickers

3b. Candy is rounded/circular … 4

4a. Candy contains pureed/smooth nuts … Reese Cup

4b. Candy contains large pieces of nuts … Almond Joy

5a. Candy is individually wrapped … Starburst

5b. Candy is not individually wrapped … Skittles

6a. Candy comes as bite-size pieces … M&M’s

6b. Candy comes as a whole bar … 7

7a. Candy contains caramel … Milky Way

7b. Candy contains fluffy nougat … 3 Musketeers



Our next assignment will be whiteboarding different plant and animal classifications and then sharing with the class. Your homework will be to take an organism within one of the classifications and create a dichotomous key for that organism. Your key must contain no fewer than 8 organisms. Dichotomous key due next class.

whiteboarding assignment
Whiteboarding Assignment
  • With your assigned partner, whiteboard some simple external recognition features so that we can distinguish between the 10 different phyla.