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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Describe the levels of organization among living things
  • State the domain, kingdom, genus, and species for humans

The diversity of life

In the 18th century, a scientist named Carl Linnaeus first proposed organizing the known species of organisms into a hierarchical taxonomy. In this system, species that are most similar to each other are put together within a grouping known as a genus. Furthermore, similar genera (the plural of genus) are put together within a family. This grouping continues until all organisms are collected together into groups at the highest level. The current taxonomic system now has eight levels in its hierarchy, from lowest to highest: species, genus, family, order, class, phylum, kingdom, domain. Thus species are grouped within genera, genera are grouped within families, families are grouped within orders, and so on ( [link] ).

A chart shows the eight levels of taxonomic hierarchy for the dog, Canis lupus.
This diagram shows the levels of taxonomic hierarchy for a dog, from the broadest category—domain—to the most specific—species. Notice that humans and dogs diverge at the level of order. Humans are classified in the following levels: order-Primates; family-Hominidae; genus: Homo; species- Homo sapiens; scientific/binomial name: Homo sapiens.

In addition to the hierarchical taxonomic system, Linnaeus was the first to name organisms using two unique names, now called the binomial naming system. Before Linnaeus, the use of common names to refer to organisms caused confusion because there were regional differences in these common names. Binomial names (also called scientific names) consist of the genus name (which is capitalized) and the species name (all lower-case). Both names are set in italics when they are printed. Every species is given a unique binomial which is recognized the world over, so that a scientist in any location can know which organism is being referred to. For example, the North American blue jay is known uniquely as Cyanocitta cristata . Our own species is Homo sapiens .

Questions & Answers

1-chemical level 2-cellular level 3-organ system level 4-tissue level 5-organism level 6-molecules
Dennis Reply
when cell are dead in any part of the body what happen to that place
Dennis Reply
describe the Krebs cycle
Lian Reply
the sequence of reactions by which most living cells generate energy during the process of aerobic respiration. It takes place in the mitochondria, consuming oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and water as waste products, and converting ADP to energy
shea
thanks
Lian
Andy is 1.0 m tall and weighs 45kg Bmi= weight / Height (squared) what's his bmi? Is it high or low?
zafirah Reply
where did our atmosphere came from
Thomas Reply
Our atmospher came from outer space.
R0se
Do mitotic and mitosis mean same?
Abhishek Reply
yes
momo
what are some mechanisms for regulating electrolytes and fluid in the body?
Anita
how do it move
Jaheim Reply
what is biology fall under
Twayne Reply
what is life?
Suliman Reply
define unit membran model?
Suliman
define unit membran model?
Suliman
different between human being and animals
Habeeb Reply
what is fat soluble drugs
Acho Reply
drugs that dissolve mostly in fatty tissues
shea
what is cell
Sesay Reply
cell is the basic unit of life.
ibtisam
how many double bond present in arachidonic acid?
Rekha
what is the source of the homologous chromosomes and the importance of its event?
Tani Reply
what is biology
Habeeb
bio mean life. logy mean study. so study of life. life is the diffrent between living and non living such as digestion ,respiration, reproduction,movment etc
Suliman
chemical, cellular, tissue, organ, organ system, organisms
Saleema Reply
chemical, tissue, cellular, organ, organism, organ system
Saleema
yes, both parts are apart of the reproductive and endocrine system because they function in both
Saleema
du antigen
gambo
what is antigenic
gambo
how many bones are there in a human
Tih Reply
206
Shivani
206 when they fused together
gambo
206 bones
Kate
206bones
R0se
206
Mahmmad
define ornithology
Aniowo
ornithology is the study of birds in every aspect.
Hemamalene

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Source:  OpenStax, Human biology. OpenStax CNX. Dec 01, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11903/1.3
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