why do scientists organize information about living things
Scientists were not the first people to class living (or dead) things into groups. This has been seen at the very basic foundations of the human experience, where even in our various religions, God is said to tell humanity to go and put a name to all of His creations. As to why people, in general, find a need to classify things, this goes to our very core nature, where order is seen as balance, and mess as utter discord. The problem with this, within the human heart and soul, is that no matter how much one works to create order, chaos will eventually- and quite naturally- take over. Labeling things is as much about control of such uncontrollable chaos as it is about knowing which little shaker holds the salt, and which holds the pepper. As for scientists, specifically, the need to classify groups goes to the very heart of needing to establish order. In fact, such classifications are actually given the title Order. Within scientific Order, a scientist who creates such classifications is called a taxonomist. A taxon is a group of one or more organisms, and depending upon which area of science the taxologist works, these groups will be placed into specific ranks of nomenclature.
The more you pursue these namings, the more complex they will become, but at their very basic root, the only reason they exist is to create order- order within the ranks. The same is true at every level of the human experience, whether is is a child labeling new school supplies, a military officer keeping chaos out of his ranks of soldiers, or a religious leader anointing a newborn and blessing it with its own name.
Living things are all around us. You know that humans and animals are living, but what about the trees in the forest, or even the microscopic organisms in a pond? Even though they appear to be very different from one another, they are all living things as well. Scientists study these differences and classify, or group, similar living things together based on their unique characteristics. Living things are classified into groups that start out large and become more specific as living things are grouped with others who share similar characteristics.
This makes it easy for scientists to study them. This system of classification is called taxonomy. Scientists classify living things at seven different levels: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. In order to do this, they look at characteristics, such as their appearance, reproduction and movement, to name a few. Since it is the largest of the seven, let's take a closer look at kingdoms and see how living things on Earth are classified. The Monera Kingdom is one of two kingdoms that contains the smallest living things on Earth! These organisms are made up on only one simple cell. Monera get their food by absorbing it through the wall of the cell. They are also able to make food by harnessing the sunlight's energy in the process of photosynthesis. Bacteria is an example of an organism in the Monera Kingdom. This kingdom also has living things that are made up of only one cell. Protists are different, though, because they are able to move around! Protists also make their food through photosynthesis, and they can ingest other organisms as well.
A mushroom is a type of fungi. It looks a bit like a plant, but it is pretty unique too. Unlike plants, fungi cannot make their own food. Fungi absorb their food from decaying material in the environment. You are probably familiar with living things in the Plant Kingdom. Plants cannot move, but they can make their own food through photosynthesis. Examples of plants in this kingdom include a tree, a flowering plant, and a bush. The final and largest kingdom is called the Animal Kingdom. Living things in the Animal Kingdom have many cells and ingest their own food. Animals range greatly in size as well. The Animal Kingdom is large, so it is organized into smaller subgroups. First, animals are divided into two groups: those with backbones and those without. Animals without backbones are called invertebrates. Arthropods are invertebrates, which include spiders and insects, and they have exoskeletons, segmented bodies, and paired legs. However, they are different also. While insects have six legs and three body segments, spiders have eight legs and only two segments.
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