Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Main Classification Groups (Taxa)

There are seven main taxa or classification groups. This system of classification can be compared to a tree. Many leaves (species) are on a tiny twig (genus). Several tiny twigis (genera) are on a larger twig (family). Several larger twigs (families) are on a little branch (order). Some little branches (orders) are on a larger branch (class). Some larger branches (classes) are on a main limb of the tree (phylum). The few main limbs (phyla) make up the whole tree (kingdom).

1. Species: Species (plural also species) is a group of individuals that are alike in many ways and interbreed under natural conditions to produce fertile offspring (children).

2. Genus: Genus (plural genera) is a group of species that are closely similar in structure and evolutionary origin.

3. Family: Family is a group of similar kinds of genera. That is, similar genera are grouped to form a taxon called Family.

4. Order: Similar families are grouped to form a taxon called order.

5. Class: Similar orders are grouped to form a taxon called class.

6. Phylum or Division: Similar classes are grouped to form a taxon called phylum or division. Zoologists favor phylum and botanists favor division.

7. Kingdom: All the phyla or divisions that contain animals are grouped in the kingdom Animalia,
and all the phyla or divisions that contain plants are grouped in the kingdom Plantae.