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Classification Notes.docx

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McMaster University
Laura Parker

Classification Notes 1. There are over 1.5 million species that have been described and named by science. 2. Because there are so many different species, we need to be able to classify and organize them. 3. The science of classifying living things is called taxonomy and scientists who classify things are called taxonomists. 4. Why do we need to classify things? a. It's a good way to organize things to make studying them easier. b. It's easier to identify unknown organisms. c. It helps to show relationships between organisms. 5. Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) developed a system called binomial nomenclature. a. It involves giving each organism a two part name. b. The names are in Latin so that no one language is favored. c. This avoids the confusion caused by organisms with different common names in different areas. d. The first part is the genus and the second part is the species. i. The genus name always starts with a capital letter. ii. The genus name can be abbreviated using the first letter of the name. iii. The species name always starts with a lower case letter. e. The 2 part name gives clues about relationships between organisms. f. Names were based largely on physical appearances but modern taxonomists use chromosomes, proteins, and they way organisms develop to help them classify species. 6. We now classify things into seven major categories a. Kingdom b. Phylum c. Class d. Order e. Famil
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