Biological Classification: Linnaeus System Essay

953 words - 4 pages

The following paper outlines the use of the Linnaeus system of classification as applied in the field of biology and evolution. The aim of the paper is to highlight how living things are related to other in the ecosystem (Pierce, 2007). It takes us through the evolutionary system highlighting all the important features of life development amongst all the living things.
Biological classification
Classification is the process of categorizing all the living creatures into group hierarchies citing their characteristic features. Classification is based on the work of Carl Linnaeus. During the 18th century, Linnaeus devised a biological method of classifying living things (plants and animals) (Altran, 1990). This method has been universally used to understand the use of science in the natural development of living things.
Carolus Linnaeus was a Swedish medical doctor and a renowned botanist who lived between 1707 and 1778. He is referred to as the father of botanical classification. He developed the scientific method of classifying living things in the 18th century making it possible to integrate and understand their development in a more defined way (Altran, 1990).
According to Linnaeus, the main aim of classification is to explain the evolutionary process of living things and the way they are related to each other. Carl indicated that there are five botanical kingdoms (Pierce, 2007). The five kingdoms are further subdivided in to other diverse and exclusive groups. The following is the hierarchical sequence of classification: the kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and the species.
The Systematics or taxonomy is the art of classifying living things according to their similarity in characteristics. It is developed using the basic factors of genetics, physiology, morphology and ecological characteristics (Altran, 1990). The process of classifying living creatures starts with knowledge resolution in an orderly manner (Rudwick, 1985). This involves giving names, offering descriptions and arranging all living things according to classes.
The hierarchy of taxonomy is consisted of a series descending in ranks (Rudwick, 1985). The ranks decent from the overall animal kingdom down to the species: the basic unit of all living things. This unit (species) is referred to as the base of taxonomy. The rules of nomenclature give guidelines on the naming of living things. It requires that the species name of a creature be italicized.
Earnest & Bock (2002) states that:
Each organism is identified by a generic name and a specific name, which are usually italicized, and followed by the name of the author who first described the species; e.g., Ips confusus (LeConte) is the name of a bark beetle in the genus Ips with the specific name confusus which was first described by LeConte. The brackets around the author's name indicate that the original name has been changed. The names of families can be identified by the ending idae, e.g. Scolytidae...

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