Read Text 190-196

Complete Biozone pages 218, 224, 225-6

The 5 Kingdoms of Life


Classifying Animals

There are billions of different kinds of living things (or organisms) on earth. To help study them, biologists have devised ways of naming and classifying them according to their similarities and differences.
The system most scientists use puts each living thing into seven groups (or taxons), organized from most general to most specific. Therefore, each species belongs to a genus, each genus belongs to a family, each family belongs to an order, etc.
From largest to smallest, these groups are:
  • Kingdom
  • Phylum
  • Class
  • Order
  • Family
  • Genus
  • Species

Kingdoms are huge groups, encompassing millions of kinds of organisms each. All animals are in one kingdom (called Kingdom Animalia); all plants are in another (Kingdom Plantae). In the most widely-used system, there are five kingdoms, containing animals, plants, fungi, prokaryotes, and protoctists (the last two are different sorts of one-celled organisms). Other systems have six or more kingdoms.

Species are the smallest groups. A species consists of all the animals of the same type, who are able to breed and produce young of the same kind. For example, while any two great white sharks are in the same species, as are any two makos, great whites and makos are in different species (since they can't interbreed).

A Sample Classification

The lion belongs to the following groups:
  • Kingdom Animalia (includes all animals)
  • Phylum Chordata (includes all vertebrate animals, as well as some other more primitive ones)
  • Class Mammalia (includes all mammals)
  • Order Carnivora (includes carnivorous mammals)
  • Family Felidae (includes all cats)
  • Genus Panthera (includes the lions, tigers, jaguars, and leopards)
  • Species leo (lions!)

Activity: The Levels of Classification WOL

The following catalogues will assist you place the organisms into the correct taxanomic group.

Classification of Living Things

Biozone pages 218-226 + 231-33

Species Concept


Phylum Chordata

The Chordates : an introduction


Class Reptillia


Snakes of Australia

To be completed and submitted by Wednesday June 17
Australian Reptile Database



Activity : Individual Variation

Complete Biozone Activities Pages 106-110


Use internet research if necessary
The Teeth of Fish
Mammalian Dentition
-the following webpage can help you Will's Skull Page
Insect Mouthparts