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TOPIC: CLASSIFICATION OF LIVING THINGS
CONTENT: (1) Classification/Taxonomy of living things
(2) Binomial system of nomenclature
(3) Classification and evolution
Sub- Topic 1: CLASSIFICATION (TAXONOMY) OF LIVING THINGS
To classify means to arrange or organize things into groups. Classification of living things involves placing living things that have certain important features in common into specific groups which distinguish them from other groups.
The largest group of organisms is the kingdom. The kingdom has the largest variety of organisms.
The kingdoms are further split into a large number of smaller groups called ‘phyla’ (singular phylum) for animals and ‘division’ for plants. All members of a phylum or division have certain features in common. Each phylum or division is broken down into classes. Classes are split into orders. Orders are split into families. Families are split into genera (singular genus) and genera into species.
The seven groups used in classification of living things in order of hierarchy are;
Kingdom → Phylum (Animal) or Division (Plant) → Class → Order → Family → Genus → Species
The species is the basic (i.e. smallest) unit in biological classification. A species is a group of individuals which can interbreed to produce fertile offspring. Example, all human beings belong to one species and all monkeys belong to a different species, thus human beings and monkeys cannot interbreed.
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