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Notes 2.1. Scientists develop systems for classifying living things. Scientists classify millions of species. Until the 1600s, scientists classified organisms according to their appearance.

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notes 2 1

Notes 2.1

Scientists develop systems for classifying living things.

scientists classify millions of species
Scientists classify millions of species.
  • Until the 1600s, scientists classified organisms according to their appearance.
  • The invention of the microscope allowed scientists to see structures and organisms that were not visible before.
classification and taxonomy
Classification and Taxonomy
  • Classification: the process of arranging organisms into groups based on similarities
  • Taxonomy: the science of naming and classifying organisms
  • The purpose of classification and taxonomy is to make information easier to find and understand.
classification and taxonomy1
Classification and Taxonomy
  • Until 1700s scientists could not agree on a system
  • Both overly long Latin scientific names and common names can be confusing.
using classification
Using Classification
  • Scientists use similarities and differences among species, including appearance, biology, and genetics.
  • The more characteristics 2 organisms share, the more similar their scientific names should be in the classification system.
  • See examples on page 45B.
taxonomists study biological relationships
Taxonomists study biological relationships.
  • Taxonomists: the scientists who classify and name organisms based on their similarities and differences.
  • Taxon: a group of organisms that share certain traits
  • Taxonscan be broad (animal) or more specific (cat).
  • A single species found in a fossil record can be the ancestor of many species on Earth today.
taxonomists study biological relationships continued
Taxonomists study biological relationships (continued)
  • In order to classify organisms, scientists compare a variety of traits.
  • Trait: a characteristic or behavior
  • If 2 organisms share a trait, taxonomists try to determine if they share that trait because they share an ancestor.
  • Page 47B—the seahorse shares more traits with a leafy sea dragon than the sargassum seaweed or sargassum fish.
  • Taxonomists take evidence and try to reconstruct the evolution of a species.
  • Then they place the species in the classification system.
physical evidence
Physical Evidence
  • Primary devices used—eyes and measuring devices
  • Collect samples and note characteristics—size, color, weight, how obtain energy, internal structures, outward appearance
  • Individuals of a species have many similarites and some differences.
physical evidence1
Physical Evidence
  • Skeletons, shells, and other hard parts of organisms fossilize more easily.
  • Scientists observe and measure this evidence.
  • They also compare bones.
  • All this physical evidence helps scientists see that all living organisms are related by evolution.
  • Those most closely related share a more recent ancestor.
genetic evidence
Genetic Evidence
  • Scientists can compare the components of a gene from one organism with the components of the same gene from another organism.
  • Genetic evidence usually supports physical evidence.
  • See p. 49B—Red pandas are more closely related to raccoons than Giant Pandas
review questions 49b
Review Questions 49B
  • 1. Classification allows taxonomists to organize a great deal of data so that it is easier to find and understand.
number 2
Number 2
  • Taxonomists study biological relationships to discover how one species evolved as compared with another species.
number 3
Number 3
  • Scientists look at DNA and compare genes of organisms.
number 4
Number 4
  • Having a universal naming system allows people speaking different languages to refer to all organisms the same way. It’s easier to understand.
number 5
Number 5

A marbled godwit would have marbled feathers, wings, feet, and a beak.

number 6
Number 6
  • Compare physical traits, such as color, size, weight and how they get energy. Analyze bones; compare to fossils; compare DNA.
quiz fill in terms
Quiz Fill-in Terms









extended response
Extended Response
  • Explain how scientists may use physical and genetic evidence to determine how closely related two species of birds are.
  • Quiz Wednesday!