Taxonomy is how species are scientifically classified. Note, a species is a group of animals that are able to interbreed to produce fertile offspring. Species are organised into groups based on their evolutionary relationships to each other. These relationships can be found by sequencing the DNA of an organism, and identifying similarities and differences to other species. Taxonomic relationships are organised into a hierarchy. This hierarchy consists of three domains which are divided into smaller groups, which are in turn divided into more smaller groups, and so on until there is just one organism within a group - a species. Each group is a known as a taxon. The hierarchy begins with three domains: bacteria, archaea and eukarya. Each domain is divided into kingdoms. Kingdoms are divided into phylums. Phylums are divided into classes. Classes are divided into orders. Orders are divided into families. Families are divided into genera (singular = genus). Within each genus are individual species. It is useful to think of an acronym to remember the hierarchy, such as: ‘Dear King Phillip Came Over For Grape Soda'. When species are referred to in scientific texts, their scientific names are used. These names are two-part: first the genus name, then the species name. For example, the scientific name for humans is Homo sapiens. This tells us the genus of humans is Homo, and the species is sapiens.
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