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Friday, 27 January 2017

The Living World - Biological nomenclature, Taxonomic categories

Biological nomenclature : 
         It is the universally accepted principles to provide scientific name to known organisms. Each name has two components- generic name (genus) and specific epithet (species). This system of nomenclature was provided by Carolus Linnaeus.

Mango- Mangifera indica. Human beings- Home sapience.

Universal rules of nomenclature:-

(a) Biological names are generally in Latina and written in italics.

(b) The first word in a biological name represents the genus while the second component denotes the specific epithet.

(c) Both the words in biological name, when handwritten, are separately underlined, or printed in italics.

(d)  The first word denoting the genus starts with a capital letter while the specific epithet starts with small letter.

     Classification- It is the process by which anything is grouped into convenient categories based on some easily observable characteristics. Classification makes the study of organisms convenient.

    Taxonomy- The process of classification on the basis of external and internal structure along with internal structure of cell, development process and ecological information is known as taxonomy.

Taxonomic categories : 

       A taxonomic category is a rank or level in the hierarchical classification of organism. There are seven obligate categories and some intermediate categories. Since the category is a part of overall taxonomic arrangement, it is called taxonomic category and all categories together constitute the taxonomic hierarchy.

Taxonomic hierarchy is shown below:-

Species- Species are the natural population of individuals or a group of population which resemble one another in all essential morphological and reproductive characters so that they are able to interbreed freely and produce fertile offspring. Mango is a species

indica of genus Mangifera  Mangifera indica).

Genus- it is a group of related species which resemble one another in certain correlated characters. All species of genus presumed to have evolved from a common ancestor. Lion, Tiger, Leopard are closely related species and placed in same genus


Family- It is a taxonomic category which contains one or more related genera. All genera of a family have some common features or correlated characters. Family Solanacaeae contains a number of genera like Solanum, Withania, Datura etc.

Order- This category includes one or more related families. Families felidae and canidae are included in same order carnivore.

Class- A class is made of one or more related orders. The class dicotyledoneae of flowering plants contains all dicots which are grouped into several orders like roales, polemoniales, renales etc.

Division/Phylum- The term phylum is used for animals while division is used for plants. They are formed of one or more class. The phylum chordate of animals contains not only the mammals but also aves, reptiles amphibians etc.

Division- It is the highest taxonomic category. All plants are included in the kingdom Plantae while all animals belong to kingdom Animalia.

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