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Kingdoms of Life


Kingdoms of Life
Aristotle lived around 1,400 years ago. Among his many achievements was that the was the first to classify life forms. The defining characteristic of animals was that they moved. Plants did not. They were rooted.
Carl Linnaeus was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology. The first edition of his Systema Naturae was published in 1735. The 10th edition was published in two volumes in 1758 and 1759, which marks the starting point of zoological nomenclature. In it, Linnaeus introduced binomial nomenclature for animals, something he had already done for plants in his 1753 publication of Species Plantarum. Linnaeus' works divided all life into two kingdoms: plant and animal.
   German biologist Ernst Haeckle (see Haeckel's Invertebrates) used a microscope to discover thousands of previously unknown species. They were not animals, nor plants, so Haeckle established the protisa kingdom in 1866. It was realized that many other life forms were not true animals nor plants and they formed the basis for the Fungus Kingdom  The four kingdoms - Animals, plants, protists and fungus are now classified together as the Eurarya domain.
   A domain is a classification form above kingdom. Two other domains are now recognized: the archae and bacteria. There are numerous ongoing controversies regarding many aspects of life form classification. Some feel that the two domains should actually be called kingdoms. What species should go into some of the groups, and the relationship of the groups to one another. England and Europe favor a five-kingdom system. American scientists feel favor six kingdoms.
   The primary purpose of Kingdoms of Life is to introduce the various type of life forms under the American 6-kingdom system. Each kingdom/domain is explained and representative species are shown. There is a chart at the bottom of the poster that shows how everything is classified under the various classification systems. We'll leave it to the experts to settle the disputes. We're simply presenting the underlying information.

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