Diversity in Living Organisms

Classification helps us in exploring the diversity of life forms. In the classification system, organisms are classified as follows: Kingdom phylum class order family genus species All living organisms are classified into five kingdoms, namely: Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae and Animalia. • Kingdom Monera includes unicellular, prokaryotic organisms with autotrophic or heterotrophic nutrition. • Kingdom Protista includes unicellular, eukaryotic organisms with autotrophic or heterotrophic nutrition. • Kingdom Fungi includes unicellular or multicellular, eukaryotic organisms with heterotrophic nutrition. • Kingdom Plantae includes multicellular, eukaryotic organisms with cell walls. They are capable of producing their own food by photosynthesis. • Kingdom Animalia includes multicellular, eukaryotic organisms without cell walls. As per the five kingdom classification the Kingdom Plantae and Animalia are further classified into subdivisions on the basis of increasing complexity of body organisation. Plants are further classified into five groups: Thallophyta, Bryophyta, Pteridophyta, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms. Plants of Thallophyta, Bryophyta and Pteridophyta are called “cryptogamae” while, plants of gymnosperms and angiosperms are called “phanerogams”. Animal classification is based on groups, which are Porifera, Coelenterata, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca, Echinodermata, Protochordata and Vertebrata. Vertebrates are further classified into five categories namely: Pisces, amphibians, reptilia, aves and mammals. The binomial nomenclature provides a uniform way of identification of the vast diversity of life around us. The binomial nomenclature is made up of two words: a generic name and a specific name.

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