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WHY do scientists classify living things? Answer: Classifying living things makes it easier to find and share information about them.
HOW do scientists classify living things? Answer: All living things can be classified into one of five kingdoms. A kingdom is the largest group into which living things can be classified.
Every member of a kingdom has some characteristics that are the same as those of other members.
THE CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM The Five Kingdoms Animals Plants Fungi Protists Monerans Description: Many-celled, feed on living or once living things Description: Many-celled, make their own food Description: Most many- celled, absorb food from other living things or dead things such as logs Description: Most one- celled, make their own food or feed on living or once living things Description: One-celled, no cell nuclei, some make their own food, some feed on living or once-living things Examples: Monkeys, birds, frogs, fish, spiders Examples: Trees,flowers, grasses, ferns, mosses Examples: Mushrooms, yeasts, molds Examples: Algae, amoebas, diatoms Examples: Bacteria
Scientists divide the animal kingdom into two large groups. ANIMAL KINGDOM Vertebrates Animals with a backbone Invertebrates Animals without a backbone
VERTEBRATES Mammals Reptiles Amphibians Fish Fish Birds Birds Description: Have hair and produce milk for their young Description: Have dry, scaly skin Description: Have moist skin and no scales, most begin life in water, but live on land as adults Description: Live their entire lives in water, most have hard scales covering their bodies and gills to take oxygen they need from the water Description: Live their entire lives in water, most have hard scales covering their bodies and gills to take oxygen they need from the water Description: Have feathers to keep it warm and help some to fly Description: Have feathers to keep it warm and help some to fly Examples: Cats, dogs Examples: Cats, dogs Examples: Lizards, snakes, turtles Examples: Lizards, snakes, turtles Examples: Frogs, toads, newts Examples: Frogs, toads, newts Examples: Sharks, eels, bass, tuna Examples: Sharks, eels, bass, tuna Examples: Owls, robins, parrots, penguins Examples: Owls, robins, parrots, penguins
INVERTEBRATES Arthropods Mollusks Worms Description: Have legs with several joints,bodies have two or more parts, often have an outer covering that protects them Description: May or may not have a hard outer shell Description: Have no shells, legs, or eyes Examples: Insects such as beetles,bees,and spiders such as mites,horseshoe crabs, and scorpions Examples: Snails, clams, squids Examples: Earthworms, tapeworms, flatworms
Forming Smaller Groups Scientists study the living things in each kingdom to see how they are alike and how they are different. They use characteristics to make smaller and smaller groups, and they give each smaller group a name. The most specific classification groups have only one type of living thing.
Classification of a House Cat Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae Genus: Felis Species: domesticus
Most living things have a common name such as house cat. But common names may be different in different places. For this reason, scientists name animals with the labels of the two smallest classification groups.
The name of the second smallest group, the genus, is joined with the name of the smallest group, the species. The scientific name for a house cat is Felis domesticus.
Summary Scientists organize living things to make studying and discussing them easier. Scientists classify all living things into five kingdoms – animals, plants, fungi, protist, and monerans. The five kingdoms are divided into smaller groups.
Vertebrates such as mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish, have backbones. Invertebrate animals, such as arthropods, mollusks, and worms, do not have backbones.