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Basis of Classification

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Cells are one of the most important characteristics of living beings because they are the basic beginning of life. They are the basic unit of life that perform specific functions. All of these cells combine to form a tissue. All over the world, there is an abundance of living organisms. Mega biodiversity regions are those which are humid and warm because they provide the optimum temperature and nutrients for the growth of species. More than half of the world’s biodiversity is accounted for by twelve countries. India is also a part of it. To know more about the species, it is essential to place them or classify them on basis of their functions or properties. 

Evolution of Classification

The steady accumulation of changes in animals’ body shells through time in order for them to live is referred to as evolution. Charles Darwin published The Origin Of Species in 1859, introducing the theory of evolution for the first time.

When evolution and classification are studied together, the following conclusions are reached:

  1. Lower or primordial species have an ancient body type that appears to have remained constant for a time.
  2. Advanced creatures are ones that have been around for a while and have developed their own body patterns.

However, these are not enough to define organisms, To account for the possibility of changes over time as body designs become more sophisticated, we use terminology such as ‘younger’ and ‘older’ organisms. As a result, older organisms are simply easier to understand than younger ones.

The categorization of organisms into groups based on their similarities and differences is known as a grouping.

Basis of Classification

We have observed the evolution of living organisms over millions of years. Humans evolved from apes. We see similarities between species in order to classify and study them as a whole. To accomplish this, we must first agree on key characteristics that will serve as the foundation for classification.

Aristotle is known as the Father of Biology. He is the first which try to classify living organisms. He classified the organisms on the basis of their habitat, i.e., on their living space (air, land, or water). 

After Aristotle, many scientists start working on the classification of living organisms. They start classifying the organism on the basis of the characteristics instead of the habitat. Any organism showing the same characteristics is placed under the groups. On the basis of morphology, behavior, locomotion, functions, etc.

Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish physician, and botanist in the mid-1700 worked and published several books on plants and animals. He classified organisms on the basis of common morphological traits and developed the Binomial Taxonomy system and sorting the organism according to Genus and Species. Later, Carolus and Darwin’s work put together and origin of Modern taxonomy.

Some characteristics which are used to classify the organism:

  1. A nucleus is present in it.
  2. Cells make up the structure of the human body (Single-celled or Multicellular)
  3. Food production
  4. The degree of structure in photosynthesizing organisms’ bodies.
  5. It is the arrangement of one’s bodily parts, the growth of the body, and the development of specialized organs for various activities in animals.

These characteristics will differ because plants and animals have different body designs. As a result, rather than a broad classification, these prominent designs and distinguishing characteristics could be used to create subgroups.

Classification System

Categorization systems are divided into two types:

  • Carolus Linnaeus developed the Two-kingdom categorization system, which divided life into two types: flora and fauna
  • Whittaker proposed the Five-Kingdom Classification, he divided species into five groups 
Classification System


Five Kingdom Classification

Five-kingdom classification is the most widely accepted method of classifying a living organism. Robert H. Whittaker in 1969 give the 5 Kingdom Classification. All living organisms are classified under the following Kingdom:

Kingdom Monera 

Monera has the following characteristics:

  1. These are prokaryotes with only one cell.
  2. They are anucleate.
  3. A cell wall may or may not be present.
  4. They can be either heterotrophic or autotrophic in nature.
  5. Examples-Amoeba and Paramecium.

Kingdom Protista

Protista has the following characteristics:

  1. They are eukaryotic and unicellular organisms.
  2. They have cilia or flagella for locomotion.
  3. Sexual reproduction happens through cell fusion and zygote formation.

Kingdom Fungi 

Fungi have the following characteristics:

  1. These organisms are multicellular and eukaryotic.
  2. They consume food in a saprophytic manner.
  3. The cell wall is made up of Chitin
  4. They are a symbiosis combination of blue-green algae.
  5. Examples-Yeast, Aspergillus

Kingdom Plantae  

Plantae has the following characteristics:

  1. These organisms are multicellular and eukaryotic.
  2. The cell wall is composed of cellulose.
  3. This prepares their own food, which is the process called photosynthesis.
  4. Thallophyta, Bryophyta, Pteridophyte, Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms are the 5 Plantae subcategories.
  5. Examples-Pines, ferns, Mango tree

Kingdom Animalia  

Animalia has the following characteristics:

  1. These organisms are multicellular eukaryotes and don’t have a cell wall.
  2. Heterotrophs are organisms that depend for food on both plants and animals.
  3. They come from a wide variety of genetics.
  4. They are organized on an organ-system level.
  5. Porifera, Echinodermata, Chordata, Coelenterata, and other phyla are divided
  6. Earthworms, Hydra, etc are examples of this kingdom.

FAQs on Basis of Biological Classification

Question 1: What are the fundamental components of life?


Cells are the basic unit of life and one of the most important characteristics of living beings. Tissues are formed by the fusion or aggregation of the same type of cells.

Question 2: What was the name of the book that popularized the concept of evolution?


The Origin Of Species, written in 1859 by Charles Darwin, who introduced the theory of evolution for the first time.

Question 3: What conclusions can you draw from the evolution concept?


When evolution and classification are linked, the following conclusions are reached:

The bodies of “lower” or “primitive” creatures appear to be ancient and remain longtime.
Higher-level species have been present for a long time and have developed distinct body patterns.

Question 4: Can you write about biodiversity, as mentioned in the previous topic?


There are numerous living organisms all over the world. Because of the abundance of species, the warm and humid regions of the Earth are known as the mega biodiversity region. Well over half of the world’s biodiversity was covered by twelve countries. India is also included.

Question 5: What do you mean by binomial nomenclature?


It is a method in which the organism is classified using 2 terms that denote the genus and species of the living organism.

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Last Updated : 03 Mar, 2023
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