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Order of Living Things

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Last updated date: 04th Mar 2024
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An Overview of Classification of Living Things

Right from childhood, we are taught about various living things that exist on a planet, but are you aware that all living organisms are classified into their Kingdom? If yes, then why is it so? Well, all organisms in the world are classified because they have similar characteristics, like their physical features, habitat, and production.


Imagine no classification of all the plants, animals, human beings, fungi, and bacteria. How would we be able to link the evolutionary relationship among them? Thus classification is crucial. Now let's look closely at the classification of living things and see how living things are classified.


What is Classification, and How do we Classify Living Things?

Classification of living things is the process of grouping and categorising organisms based on their similarities and differences. This system of classification is also known as taxonomy.


Classification is based on the characteristics and structure of organisms, and it is hierarchical, meaning that organisms are grouped into increasingly specific categories.


The Linnaean system of classification has eight major levels, starting with the most general and moving to the most specific. There are, in total five kingdoms or orders of living things.


Following are overviews of each taxonomic level in modern biological classification


Classification of Living Things


Classification of Living Things


Kingdom

In Biology, the kingdom is the second highest rank in which the living organisms are divided. Whitaker was the one who proposed the five-kingdom classification. These five kingdoms are as follows:


  • Kingdom monera 

  • Kingdom protista 

  • Kingdom fungi

  • Kingdom plantae

  • Kingdom animalia


5 Different Types of Kingdom


5 Different Types of Kingdom


Phylum

The next level of categorisation is the phylum, which is used to classify creatures into larger groups based on shared characteristics. The phylum Chordata includes humans as well though these two species are all different, Phyla are classified in the same way as the Plantae Kingdom.


  • Sponges are included under the phylum Porifera.

  • Coelenterata includes, but is not limited to, jellyfish, hydras, and corals.

  • Flatworms, or Platyhelminthes.

  • Roundworms (Nematoda).

  • Class Annelida includes segmented worms.

  • Arthropoda: Insects and other arthropods.

  • Molluscs are a class of molluscs that includes bivalves like clams.

  • Sea urchins, or Echinodermata, are a kind of echinoderm.

  • The Chordata, or Chordates.


Class

Within the taxonomic hierarchy, the class comes after the phylum but before the order. Class members are more similar to one another than members of other phyla. Although they share the Phylum Chordata, amphibians and reptiles are in separate classes within that phylum. To reproduce, amphibians (mostly frogs, toads, and salamanders) secrete fluids to keep their skin wet and smooth, and they deposit thousands of jellylike eggs in aquatic environments.


In addition to having dry, scaly skin and reproducing by laying tiny clutches of leathery eggs on land, reptiles (snakes, lizards, turtles, and tortoises) belong to the Class Reptilia.


Order

The order is located between the class and family in the taxonomic ladder. An order's groups share more characteristics than the rest of the class. Mammalian characteristics, such as the need for mothers to provide milk to their young, are shared across the orders of whales and reindeer (caribou), even though they are both classified within the Class Mammalia. Cloven-hoofed animals, including reindeer, cows, pigs, antelope, and giraffes, belong to the Order Artiodactyla. The cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins) make up their order, which is called the Order Cetacea.


Family

The family is at the second-highest taxonomic level, after the order but before the genus. The relationships between individuals of the same taxonomic family are more extensive than those between members of the same order. The Order Carnivora includes a wide variety of animals, including foxes, coyotes, lions, cats, otters, and weasels. Foxes and coyotes, on the other hand, are members of the family Canidae. The family Felidae includes both lions and cats, whereas the family Mustelidae includes otters and weasels.


Genus

Between families and species lies the taxonomic genus (plural: genera). Significant structural similarities and tight relationships exist between the groups of species that make up a genus. Individuals within the same genus are more closely related to one another than they are to those in other genera within the same family. Family Felidae comprises such diverse cats as lions, tigers, ocelots, housecats, bobcats, and lynx. Tigers and lions are Panthera, whereas ocelots and house cats are Felis, and lynxes and bobcats are Lynxes.


Example of Biological Classification of Phantom


Example of Biological Classification of Phantom


Species

The capacity of individuals of different species to marry and have fertile offspring is the most crucial aspect of species categorisation (those that can breed and produce more offspring). Only between members of the same species can offspring develop normally; interbreeding between members of different species is very rare.


Hybrid offspring between species within the same genus have been seen; however, they nearly invariably prove to be infertile. A mule is the offspring of a horse and a donkey, which is a good illustration of this phenomenon. Since mules are infertile, it's unlikely that any offspring would be viable.


Classification of Humans

Since humans have a nucleus and organelles, Humans are classified in Domain Eukarya. Ingestion, multicellularity, and the lack of cell walls establish us as members of the Kingdom Animalia. Since humans have spinal cords, we belong to the Chordata Phylum (our subphylum is Vertebrata because we have a segmented backbone).


Summary

Through this article, we learned the concept of classification, which is the process of arranging various species, such as animals, plants, fungi bacteria, into groups and subgroups to link their evolutionary pattern, recognise and study them easily.


We learned the biological classification, which is taxonomy, has 7 kingdoms viz, kingdom, Phylum, Class, order, family, genus and Species. We closely studied all the species which are included under each category, and finally, we learned about how living things are classified. We hope you enjoyed reading this article.

FAQs on Order of Living Things

1. Who came up with the classification?

The Swedish botanist was the one to come up with and stick to a uniform system for identification and describing plants and animals worldwide. Linnaeus showed up with the binomial system of naming, in which each species has a general term (genus) and a specific name (species). . In 1758, he used the classification of naming animals. The way Linnaeus named things is still used today.

2. How many species have been discovered on the Earth?

In 2010, biologists identified and categorised just 1.7 million species of plants and animals, which is less than a fourth of the projected number. Scientists have predicted over five million new species. Meanwhile, molecular biology advances allow researchers to identify previously unknown species of amphibians positively.

3. Which group of organisms is more prone to extinction?

Large animals are more vulnerable to extinction due to dwindling populations. Animal populations that experience a significant decline due to human activities and have low reproductive rates will take longer to recover than those with higher reproductive rates.