Q:

What is classification in science?

A:

Quick Answer

Classification, or taxonomy, is the process of identifying, naming and categorizing living things based on their physical and biological characteristics. According to the Natural History Museum, scientists believe there are more than 31 million species of micro-organisms, animals and plants living on Earth today. Classification of living things helps scientists and students organize their research. It also helps to explain the interrelationships among diverse groups of organisms.

Know More
What is classification in science?
Credit: Adam Gault OJO Images Getty Images

Full Answer

According to Windows to the Universe, living things are categorized into three groups based on their genetic characteristics. These three groups are Archaea, Eubacteria and Eukaryota, and these are known as domains. For example, the Eukaryota domain is divided into four kingdoms: kingdom Protista, kingdom Fungi, kingdom Plantae and kingdom Animalia. Kingdom Protista includes all organisms that have one eukaryotic cell. Kingdom Fungi features mushrooms and all other fungi. Kingdom Plantae includes all plants including trees, flowers and grass. Meanwhile, kingdom Animalia includes all animals, insects, birds and human beings. In each kingdom, species are further categorized into specific groups based on their similarities. This system of classification creates a specific hierarchy where all living things fit into categories. The hierarchy of living things allows classification by kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a classification key and how is it used?

    A:

    In biology, a classification key is a means of categorizing living organisms by identifying and sorting them according to common characteristics. Also referred to as a dichotomous key, single-access key or pathway key, the process enables organism classification by answering a series of hierarchical and specific identification questions by choosing one of two possible answers. The answer chosen leads to the next two-answer-choice question, which then continues in a sequential order that further narrows down the organism's characteristics and ultimately leads to its final categorization.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the eight levels of biological classification?

    A:

    The eight levels of biological classification are domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. These levels are an important part of taxonomy, which is the science of identifying species and organizing them according to systems of classification.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a traditional classification system?

    A:

    Linnean classification is the traditional classification system of all living things. This system classifies plants and animals by body structure and a descending order of categories. These categories are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the scientific classification of Euglena?

    A:

    Scientists assign Euglena to the Kingdom Protista, although these unique organisms share characteristics of plants and animals. The complex physical and biological structures of Euglena keep them from meeting all the qualification criteria of most kingdoms, but they most closely resemble protists. The Kingdom Protista contains other microorganisms like amoebas and paramecium, making it the most suitable classification for Euglena.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore