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Why do biologists classify organisms?

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Quick Answer

Biologists classify organisms to organize and keep track of the enormous variety of life forms, to better understand evolutionary distances, and to examine the relationships between organisms. Life on earth is incredibly diverse, with millions of different identified species.

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Full Answer

The basic system of classification for biology was originally devised by Swedish doctor and botanist Carolus Linnaeus. Linnaeus devised a system in which organisms are grouped under increasingly specific sub-categories, ranging from (at the broadest level) order, to family, genus and species (at the most specific level). For example, humans are classified as "Homo sapiens," with Homo being the genus and sapiens being the species. Linnaeus's basic system of classification is still used by biologists today.

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    Why are living organisms classified?

    A:

    Organisms of all types are classified to make it easier to identify species of plants and animals, to help sort and track similarities and differences between different parts of various kingdoms and to help scientists determine the relationships between currently known species and new ones. Modern scientists use these classifications to help understand species, both new and old. It allows them to be able to link the current evolution of a species to its ancestors and perhaps predict what changes could come in the future.

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    What are some methods biologists use to determine evolutionary relationships?

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    Biologists who study the relationships between animal groups are known as taxonomists, and they have a wide array of tools at their disposal for determining the exact phylogeny of organisms. Among these are gross anatomy, protein similarity and direct gene sequencing, as related by Rediscovering Biology.

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    What animals have a dorsal nerve cord?

    A:

    All organisms that are found in the chordata phylum of animals have a dorsal nerve cord at some point in their lives. The dorsal nerve cord is an embryonic feature of chordatas. There are three chordata subphylums: vertebrata, urochordata and cephalochordata.

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    How does evolution work?

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    Evolution works by selecting in favor of the reproduction of some organisms in a population at the expense of other individuals. Natural selection works to eliminate the less inclusively fit from the population, either through death or failure to reproduce, and so drives the gene pool to fit the environment.

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