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Taxonomy and Binomial Nomenclature

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1 Taxonomy and Binomial Nomenclature
Biology Post Falls High School

2 Why Classify? To name organisms This is binomial nomenclature
To place them in logical relationships Separate by differences Group by similarities This is taxonomy

3 Why give scientific names?
Many different organisms may share a common name Buzzard = hawk (England) or vulture (U.S.) Gopher = rodent in West, turtle in S.E.

4 Why give scientific names?
Many organisms have more than one common name Mt. lion, puma, cougar Moose, hirvi

5 Beginnings of Classification
Aristotle ( BC) classified all living things he knew Plant or Animal Organized Plants into herb, shrub, or tree according to size and structure Organized Animals by habitat and physical differences Birds, bats, and some insects grouped together because they all have wings and fly!

6 Binomial Nomenclature
To avoid confusion each has 2 part scientific name Genus name + specific epithet (species name); genus capitalized/species not Species name is often descriptive Written in italics (or underlined) In Latin Dead language Never changes in meaning

7 Red legged grasshopper Melanoplus femur-rubrum

8 Father of Modern Taxonomy

9 Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linne)
born on May 23, 1707, in the province of Småland in southern Sweden University of Uppsala, finished his medical degree at the University of Harderwijk training in botany was part of the medical curriculum, for every doctor had to prepare and prescribe drugs derived from medicinal plants

10 Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linne)
published the first edition of his classification of living things, the Systema Naturae professorship at Uppsala in 1741, he restored the University's botanical garden (arranging the plants according to his system of classification) died in 1778

11 Linnaean Classification
Hierarchical with 7 levels, or taxa (taxon-singular) Kingdom, phylum (division in plants), class, order, family, genus, species

12 American Lobster Market Squid Blue Mussel Virginia Oyster European Oyster Phylum Arthropoda Mollusca Class Malacostraca Cephalopoda Bivalvia Order Decapoda Mytiloida Pterioida Family Nephropidae Loliginidae Mytilidae Ostreidae Genus Homarus Loligo Mytilus Crassostrea Ostrea Species americanus opalescens edulis virginica

13 Value of Taxonomy 1. Taxonomy works out for us a vivid picture of the existing organic diversity of the earth. 2. Taxonomy provides much of the information permitting a reconstruction of the phylogeny of life. 3. Taxonomy reveals numerous interesting evolutionary phenomena. 4. Taxonomy supplies classifications which are of great explanatory value in most branches of biology and paleontology. 5. Taxonomy organizes known lifeforms.

14 Alterations to Taxonomy
Biologists now group organisms into categories that represent lines of evolutionary descent, or phylogeny, not just physical/chemical similarities This means similar genes and DNA is a strong contributor in modern taxonomic decisions Ex. American vulture, African vulture, and stork

15 Cladogram Identifies and considers only those characteristics that are evolutionary innovations (new traits that arise as species change over time) New traits in later members of lineage called derived characteristics Used to construct cladogram, a diagram that shows evolutionary relationships

16 Cladogram

17 Cladogram


19 Molecular Clock Accumulation of neutral mutations after separation of relatives Dissimilarity in DNA sequences can be used to calculate time since separation

20 Kingdoms 2 (Plantae/Animalia) for Aristotle/Linnaeus
Then came Protista for microscopic Then came Fungi for odd plants Then prokaryotes became Monera 5 kingdoms !

21 Kingdoms Now Monera has been subdivided Now there are 6!
Archaebacteria for the older, primitive bacteria Eubacteria for the “true” modern bacteria

22 Determination of Evolutionary Relationships
Structural similarities Breeding behavior Geographical distribution Chromosome comparison Biochemistry

23 Domains Now scientists have devised supergroups to place these related kingdoms Eukarya – protists, fungi, plants, animals Bacteria – the true bacteria Archaea – primitive forms of bacteria

24 Bacteria Unicellular prokaryotes
Thick, rigid cell walls surrounding a membrane Peptidoglycan in walls


26 Archaea Unicellular prokaryotes
Live in extreme environments and are all anaerobic Walls lack peptidoglycan and membranes consist of unusual lipid structure


28 Eukarya All eukaryotes (with nuclei)
All the rest of organisms known to man



31 Without a set of international rules to follow, the results of taxonomy would be confusing at best. The rules of zoological nomenclature are contained in a document known as the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). The object of the code is to promote stability and universality in the scientific names of animals. All names must be unique, universal, and show stability. Uniqueness Every name has to be unique. If several names have been given to the same taxon, priority decides which name will be the valid name. Universality Zoologists have adopted, by international agreement, a single language to be used on a worldwide basis. All animals are given a generic and specific name in Latin. These names are in italics or are underlined (i.e. Homo sapiens). Stability The ICZN attempts to prevent the frequent changing of names to provide stability.


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