Classification of living things

This classification is made in 8 levels from lower to higher evolutionary specificity, each of the groups being known a taxon (plural taxa).

  • Domain
  • Kingdom
  • Edge
  • Class
  • Order
  • Family
  • Gender
  • Species

The criteria for the classification of living beings are based on numerous characteristics:

  • morphology: the shape of your body;
  • genetics: similarities in the composition of the DNA sequence;
  • metabolism: the chemical reactions that occur to acquire energy;
  • development: the pattern of how organisms develop.

The science in charge of the classification of living beings performs Systematics, who decrees the great variety of positive organisms on Earth. Taxonomy is the analysis of the characteristics of an organism in order to establish a taxon.


It is the basic union of biological classification that is characterized by:

  • Morphologically similar individuals.
  • Genetic background with great similarity.
  • Ability to traverse or mate with each other.
  • Manufacture of fertile offspring.


It is the taxonomic category that unites similar genera. For example, the genus Vespa contains less than 22 species and they are identified as black, yellow and brown wasps that build their nests by chewing on wood fibers.

This can be subdivided into subgenres and infragens. It is important to mention that the name of the genus is part of the scientific name of the organism; the analogy is made that gender is the surname of the living being.


They are grouped by genera with different individual characteristics, their name in botany ends as «aceae», for example the family of Fabaceae (legumes). In zoology, the term for the family taxon is “idae”, for example, the cat family is Felidae.


It is the taxonomic section that unites the families. There may be in addition to the suborder, infraorder and parvorder. Among the orders we can emphasize:

  • Hymenoptera: includes the group of animals, insects that have membranous wings such as bees, wasps and bumblebees.
  • Carnivorous: Contains animals that eat meat, such as dogs, cats and bears.
  • Mucorales: it is the most extensive order of fungi, where the bread mold Rhizopus stolonifer is found.
  • Poales: order of plants where corn, bamboo and bromeliads are located.

edge or division

It unites beings with a distinctive peculiarity, each kingdom encompasses a variety of phylum that can be further subdivided into subphylum, infraphylum and microphyle. For example, in the Animalia kingdom the most representative phyla are the following:

  • Chordata: animals that show a notochord or dorsal chord, such as vertebrates.
  • Arthropoda: arthropods with jointed legs such as crabs, butterflies and dragonflies.
  • Mollusca: molluscs with flaccid bodies like squid.
  • Porifera: sponges with pores.
  • Platyhelminthes: flatworms or flatworms.
  • Nematoda: spherical worms.
  • Annelida: worms with tiny rings like earthworms.
  • Echinodermata: echinoderms with spiny skin like starfish.


There are currently six kingdoms and they are as follows:

  • Kingdom Animalia: animals.
  • Kingdom Plantae: mosses, ferns and plants.
  • Kingdom Fungi: fungi, molds and yeasts.
  • Kingdom Protista: eukaryotic protozoans.
  • Kingdom Archaeabacteria: microorganisms without a nucleus that live in extreme environments.
  • Kingdom Eubacteria: includes bacteria.


It is the highest classification phase, proposed by Carl R. Woese and collaborators in 1990, based on contrasts in ribosomal RNA, from which three domains are produced:

  • Eukarya: which brings together eukaryotic organisms, made up of cells that exhibit a nucleus.
  • Archaea: group of prokaryotic microorganisms, that is, they do not show a nucleus that in the evolutionary line that is more assimilated to eukaryotes.
  • Bacteria: prokaryotic microorganisms that do not have a cell nucleus.

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