What is taxonomy?

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.

Answered by Suzi L. Biology tutor

1388 Views

See similar Biology A Level tutors
Illustration of a video tutorial

Need help with Biology?

One to one online tuition can be a great way to brush up on your Biology knowledge.

Have a Free Meeting with one of our hand picked tutors from the UK’s top universities

Find a tutor

Related Biology A Level answers

All answers ▸

Describe how the products of the Light dependent stage of photosynthesis are used in the Calvin cycle (3marks)


Why is ATP required for skeletal muscle contraction?


Describe the steps of mitosis. (10 Marks)


Explain the process of Glycolysis and the products required and formed at each stage?


We're here to help

contact us iconContact usWhatsapp logoMessage us on Whatsapptelephone icon+44 (0) 203 773 6020
Facebook logoInstagram logoLinkedIn logo

© MyTutorWeb Ltd 2013–2022

Terms & Conditions|Privacy Policy