We can understand the evolutionary and ecological relationships between organisms if we can classify them.
Organisms can be classified into groups according to characteristics that they share. The first big division of living things in the classification system is to put them into one of five kingdoms. These are based on what an organism's cells are like. The table shows the names of the kingdoms and examples of the sort of organisms they contain.
The first rank in the classification system is called a kingdom. There are five kingdoms, based upon what an organism's cells are like:
· animals (all multicellular animals)
· plants (all green plants)
· fungi (moulds, mushrooms, yeast)
· prokaryotes (bacteria, blue-green algae)
· Protoctists (Amoeba, Paramecium).
There are several further ranks before we reach a particular species. In order, these are:
For example, lions have the following classification:
· kingdom - animal
· phylum - vertebrate
· class - mammal
· order - carnivorous
· family - cat
· genus - big cat
· Species - lion.
One way to remember this is by using a daft sentence like this…