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Classification of Living Things

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Project Work Classification of Living Things Mar´┐Ża Voegeli July 2000 There are about 10 to 100 million species in the world, but only 1 3/4 have been given scientific names. About 3/4 of these are insects. Almost 99% of all plant and animal species that have existed have already become extinctwith most leaving no fossils. Before the advent of modern genetically based evolutionary studies, European biology consisted primarily of taxonomy. Most naturalists two centuries ago held the view that plants and animals had been created in their present form and that they have remaines unchanged. They didnt believe in the posibility of evolution. In 1735, Linnaeus published an influential book entilted Systema Naturae - The Linnaean system of classification. This system uses two Latin name categories, genus and species. A genus is a higher level category that includes one or more species under it, this is why it is called binominal nomenclature. ...read more.


If analogous structures are due to this sort of actual close genetic relationship, they are called homologies. Homologous structures are similar because they are inherited from a common ancestor that also had them. There can also be nonhomologous structural similarities between species. Instead the similarities are due to independent acquisition in separate evolutionary lines. Such misleading similarities are called homoplasies. Homoplasies can result from parallelism (or parallel evolution). They can be similar evolutionary developments after divergence from a common ancestor. Homoplasies can also result when the common ancestor was even more distant in time, as in the case of convergence. There is always a lively debate among researchers over defining new species because it is not obvious what are the most important traits. There are two schools of thought. The first defines new species based on minor differences between organisms. This is the "spliter" approach. The second tends to ignore minor differences and to emphasize major similarities. ...read more.


These are pacental mammals. The mothers carry their young within the uterus before birth until an advanced stage is reached. This is made possible by the umbilical cord and placenta Placental mammals have been extremely successful in out competing monotremes and marsupials for ecological niches. KINGDOMS OF LIVING THINGS IN THE LINNAEAN CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM Kingdom Structural Organization Method of Nutrition Types of Organisms Known Species Monera Prokaryotic cell Absorb food Bacteria, blue-green algae 10,000+ Protista Eukaryotic cell Absorb, ingest, and/or photosynthesize food Protozoans and algae of various types 250,000+ Fungi Multicellular filamentous form with specialized eukaryotic cells Absorb food Funguses, molds, mushrooms, yeasts, mildews, and smuts 100,000+ Plantae Multicellular form with specialized eukaryotic cells; do not have their own means of locomotion Photosynthesize food Woody and non-woody flowering plants 250,000+ Animalia Multicellular form with specialized eukaryotic cells; have their own means of locomotion Ingest food Sponges, worms, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals 1,000,000+ Viruses, prions, and other non-cellular entities are not included in the five kingdoms. ...read more.

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