Interactive Note taking Classification Summary

Classification of Organisms 


  • Classification helps scientists find, identify and study living organisms more easily.
  • Organisms are organized into groups that have one or more characteristics.


  • Hierarchy ranks things one above the other
  • Hierarchy of organisms-physical characteristics and activities
  • Levels of Hierarchy/classification (8) – domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species


  • Domain is a broad classification and is the top of the Hierarchy
  • 3 domains: archaea, bacteria, and eukarya


  • Archaea and bacteria-microscopic, unicellular, and prokaryotic domains
  • Archaea (Archaebacteria) live in extreme conditions
  • Bacteria (Eubacteria) live all around and inside of us-there are harmful and helpful bacteria


  • Eukarya domain are eukaryotes
  • Broken down by # of cells (unicellular or multicellular), how they get their food (heterotroph or autotrophs
  • 4 kingdoms: Animal, Plant, Protista (protist), and Fungi (fungus)


  • Kingdoms are broken down into smaller groups
  • Plants are broken up into divisions
  • Division coniferophyta-evergreen trees, naked seeds-conifers/gymnosperms
  • Division anthophyta-flowering plants, covered seeds, angiosperms


  • Animals, protists, and fungi are broken down into phyla
  • Phylum-share more specific characteristics and activities
  • Animal phyla: cnidarians, mollusks, annelids, arthropods, echinoderms, and chordates


  • The more levels of the classification system shared by 2 organisms, the more closely they are related
  • Animals if the same species share similar characteristics and behaviors but also have offspring that can reproduce 


  • Each organism on Earth is given a unique 2 part scientific name-binomial nomenclature
  • Binomial nomenclature= two names, list of names


  • Binomial nomenclature=genus and species
  • Genus is capitalized and all of it is written in italics
  • Example: Canis lupis =a wolf’s binomial nomenclature


  • New discoveries could change domains and how organisms are placed in today’s classification system.