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Classification
Classification is a technique we all use to organize our knowledge of people, places, and things. We usually put different individual objects into classes based on their similarities. For example, think about one student, say, a 5th grader in your school. That student is a member of a group of students that all share several similarities: they all have the same 5th grade teacher in the same room at the same time. We can classify this group of students into a single "class." This class of 5th graders is also part of a much larger group: all of the 5th grade students in the world.

Image showing one fifth grader, all the fifth graders in her class, and all the fifth grade students in the world.  Please have someone assist you with this.

Living organisms are classified according to visible physical similarities. All individual organisms that appear the same (inside and outside) and can interbreed to produce offspring that can also interbreed are classified as a species. Different species are grouped by their similarities into a "genus." Different genera (plural of genus) are grouped by their similarities into a family, and so on as follows:

Species are grouped into Genera,
which are grouped into Families,
which are grouped into Orders,
which are grouped into Classes,
which are grouped into Phyla,
which are grouped into Kingdoms.

All living organisms on Earth can be grouped into five kingdoms: Prokaryotes (single-celled organisms lacking a nucleus, like bacteria), Eukaryotes (single celled organisms with a nucleus, like algae), Fungi (including mushrooms), Plants, and Animals.

Paleontologists look carefully at similarities in fossils to place extinct organisms like dinosaurs into this classification system. Here is how one well-known species of dinosaur is classified.

Image of a graph that displays the Classification of the Species known as Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Please have someone assist you with this.

 


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Classification

 

 
             
     
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Diversity | Species Diversity | Genetic Diversity | Classification

Diversity | Adaptation | Plate Tectonics | Cycles | Spheres | Biomes | Geologic Time

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Last updated on
April 28, 2005

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