Variety of Life - Classification

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Classification

Classification involves placing living organisms into groups according to their similarities and differences and taking into account the ancestral relationships among living organisms. Biological classification takes into account the cell structure, immunology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, life cycles, ecology and biochemistry.

The concept of species

A species can be defined as 'a group of organisms of common ancestry that closely resemble each other, and are normally capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring.'

Members of the same species have numerous features in common while still exhibiting some degree of variation. They have many genes in common but variation is generated by the alleles that differ.

The binomial system gives each species two names. The first is the generic name, which indicates the genus to which the species belongs, (first letter in uppercase). The second name is the specific or species name, which identifies the species to which the organisms belongs (first letter in lower case). E.g. human binominal name is Homo sapiens or H. sapiens.

Taxonomy

The arrangement of organisms into groups is known as classification but the science or study of classification is called taxonomy. Each group is called a taxon. Species are classified into groups or categories (descending

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