Biology B2 Revision: Classification

Mind map showing the classification of organisms and the problems with classification. 

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  • Classification
    • All organisms can be classified into groups.
      • Kingdom, phylum,class order, family, genus, species
      • 2 ways of classifying- Natural or Artificial
        • Natural- based on evolutionary relationships and is more detailed.
          • More closely related organisms are likely to be in the same group.
        • Artificial- based on one or two characteristics which make identification easier.
          • E.g. Birds that live by or on the sea are called seabirds.
    • Species
      • A group of organisms that interbreed to produce fertile offspring.
    • Binomial name system
      • Two parts to the name: first is the genus and second is the species.
        • Genus part starts with capital letter and species name starts with lower case.
    • Problems with classifying
      • Living things are at different stages of evolution and new ones discovered all the time.
        • Archaeopteryx was difficult to classify as it had characteristics that would put it into 2 groups- feathers like a bird and a bony tale and teeth like a reptile.
      • Specific problems
        • Bacteria do not interbreed, they reproduce asexually.
          • Therefore cannot be classified into different species using fertile offspring idea.
        • Hybrids produced when members of different species interbreed.
          • Mules are hybrids and are infertile, so cannot be classified as a species.
    • Classification and Evolution
      • Grouped organisms often closely related and share common ancestor.
        • May have different features if they live in different habitats.
      • Similarities and differences in organisms may have different explanations.
        • Dolphins have similarities to fish as they are ecologically related. But they are classified differently (dolphins= mammals)
        • Dolphins and bats evolved to live in different habitats, but they are both mammals.
          • Related through evolution.


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