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What is classification? • Classification is the grouping of organisms according to characteristics • Taxonomy is the science of classifying organisms based on physical characteristics, genetics and biochemical information • Our taxonomic system was developed by Carolus Linneaus in the 1700’s
Classifying Species • All organisms are slotted into eight nested levels of taxonomic categories known as ranks • Domain • Kingdom • Phylum • Class • Order • Family • Genus • species (Remember: King Philip Came Over From Germany Swimming)
Binomial Nomenclature • Each organism has a two part scientific name • The first name is the genus which is always capitalized • The second name is the species which is always lowercase • Names are in Latin because it was the language of scholars.
What is a scientific name? • Each species has a unique scientific name but many organisms have a variety of common names • Scientific names of organisms are always italicized or underlined • For example Homo sapiens or Homo sapiens