Biology for Kids
Biological Classification is the way scientists use to categorize and organize all of life. It can help to distinguish how similar or different living organisms are to each other.
An example of Classification
Biological classification works a bit like the library does. Inside the library, books are divided up into certain areas: the kids books in one section, the adult books in another, and the teen books in another section. Within each of those sections, there will be more divisions like fiction, non-fiction. Within those sections there will be even more divisions such as mystery, science fiction, and romance novels in the fiction section. Finally you will get down to a single book.
Biological classification works the same way. At the top there are the kingdoms. This is sort of like the adult section vs. the kids' section. The kingdoms divide up life into big groups like plants and animals. Under the kingdoms are more divisions which would be like fiction, non-fiction, mystery, etc. Finally, you get to the species, which is sort of like getting to the book in the library.
7 Major Levels of Classification
There are seven major levels of classification: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. The two main kingdoms we think about are plants and animals. Scientists also list four other kingdoms including bacteria, archaebacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Sometimes an eighth level above the Kingdom called the Domain is used.
Classification for Humans
Here is an example of how humans are classified. You will see that our species is homo sapiens.
Species: Homo sapiens
Fun ways to Remember Biological Classification
A good way to remember lists is to make up a sentence using the first letters in a list. In this case we want to remember Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species: K, P, C, O, F, G, S
Here are some sentences:
- Kids Prefer Cheese Over Fried Green Spinach.
- Koalas Prefer Chocolate Or Fruit, Generally Speaking
- King Philip Came Over For Good Spaghetti
- Keeping Precious Creatures Organized For Grumpy Scientists
- Although the system of classification continues to be modified, Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish plant scientist, is generally credited with inventing the current system.
- Animals with exoskeletons like insects and crabs are part of the Phylum Arthropoda and are often called arthropods.
- Under the Phylum Chordata we get the classes of animals many are familiar with such as mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and birds.
- A species is usually defined as individuals that can reproduce (have kids).
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More biology subjects:
Vitamins and Minerals
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