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How Are Organisms Classified? | Evolution | Biology | FuseSchool

from amoebas to artworks and fungus to

fruit trees what does it mean to

classify organisms why do we do it and

how is it done

classifying anything simply means to put

it into a group in terms of biological

classification organisms are classified

or grouped with other organisms that

they are most closely related to these

small groups are then classified

together into larger groups and so on

until we reached the top level of

classification which places organisms in

one of three biological domains archaea

bacteria and Eukarya when each organism

is classified in this way it allows

scientists to see the relationships

between different species and makes

sense of a hugely diverse array of life

modern systems of biological

classifications or taxonomy are based on

the work of a pioneering

eighteenth-century scientist called Carl

Linnaeus by studying hundreds of

organisms Linnaeus devised a method of

grouping them according to their shared

physical features those with similar

physical features could be classified

together the most similar organisms ie

those that could read together and

produce fertile offspring were

designated as belonging to the same

species and given a Latin species named

accordingly for example all domestic dog

breeds belong to the same species called

Canis lupus familiaris other members of

the dog family that are closely related

but not the same species will share the

higher group name the genus name but

have a different species name for

example the grey wolf

which is the closest relative to the

domestic dog is classified as Canis

lupus lupus by using this system we can

classify organisms according to their

shared evolutionary history the layest

also created higher and more inclusive

taxonomic categories that encompass an

increasingly broader range of organisms

the structure of Linnaeus's taxonomic

groups can be seen here you can make up

a little rhyme or acronym to remember

this such as Keith pond clean frogs get

sick by using this system of common

groupings we can develop diagrams

that showed the interrelatedness of

organisms based on the morphological

diversity for example this diagram of a

taxonomic tree shows that humans are

more closely related to chimpanzees than

they are to gorillas a common ancestor

is represented by each split in the

branches of the taxonomic tree how long

ago did humans and gorillas diverged

from an evolutionary perspective recent

advances in science including the

ability to categorize DNA sequences have

enabled scientists to accurately

determine how closely species are

related to each other this has led to

the revision of the original grouping

suggested by Linnaeus new organisms are

constantly being discovered and

relationships between organisms are

changing all the time so the importance

of a taxonomic study to modern science

cannot be underestimated