Traditional Classification vs Phylogenetic (using Fish as an Example)

Traditional classification

Traditional spindle diagram of the evolution of the vertebrates at CLASS level

Conventional classification has living vertebrates grouped into seven CLASSES based on traditional interpretations of gross anatomical and physiological traits. This classification is the one most commonly encountered in school textbooks, overviews, non-specialist, and popular works. The extant vertebrates are:

  • Subphylum Vertebrata: 7 Classes (often taught as 5 Vertebrate Classes, by collapsing the 3 fish classes into one)

In addition to these, there are two classes of extinct armoured fishes, the Placodermi and the Acanthodii, both of which are considered paraphyletic.

Add Info on Phylogenetic (using Fish as an Example)


Life- Domains- Kingdoms- Phylum- Class- Order- Family- Genus- Species

Biological_Classification DiagramIn biology, kingdom (Latin: regnum, pl. regna) is a taxonomic rank, which is either the highest rank or in the more recent three-domain system, the rank below domain. Kingdoms are divided into smaller groups called phyla (in zoology) or divisions in botany.

Currently, textbooks from the United States use a system of six kingdoms (Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista, Archaea, and Bacteria) while British, Australian and Latin American textbooks may describe five kingdoms (Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protoctista, and Prokaryota or Monera). Some recent classifications have explicitly abandoned the term “kingdom”, noting that the traditional kingdoms are not monophyletic, i.e. do not consist of all the descendants of a common ancestor.


1 Definition and associated terms

2 Systems of classification

2.1 An initial dichotomy: Two kingdoms

2.2 An increasing number of kingdoms

2.2.1 Three kingdoms

2.2.2 Four kingdoms

2.2.3 Five kingdoms

2.3 Recent developments: six kingdoms or more than? Continue reading

Animal Kingdom Questions, Answers

Animal Kingdom

Question 1. What are the difficulties that you would face in classification of animals, if common fundamental features are not taken into account?

Answer: Common fundamental features help grouping animals in certain categories or sub-categories. For the common fundamental feature of all the Arthropods is joined legs for locomotion. Higher animals, like mammals too have joined legs but the difference is the absence/presence of muscles to facilitate articulation. Similarly, all birds have fore-limbs modified to assist in flying. This gives us one clue to categorise a particular animal among aves.

Had we not used fundamental features we could not get a point to start with. Fundamental features help us further pin point the characteristics for classification and identification.

Question 2. If you are given a specimen, what are the steps that you would follow to classify it?

Answer: Steps to Follow for Classification: Continue reading

Reduction in Phytoplankton-40% since 1950s

It may be hardest of all to care about something unseen. A single glass of seawater drawn from the surf in Newport or Brookings might look clear but in fact would roil with at least 75 million organisms called phytoplankton.

And we vitally depend upon such creatures. Out in the ocean, infinite numbers of them produce half the world’s oxygen and form the base of the marine food chain. For what it’s worth, phytoplankton eat crazy amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

But their numbers are down 40 percent worldwide since the 1950s and may be headed down further. The culprit appears to be rising ocean temperatures associated with climate change. The sea’s warming top layer of water, where phytoplankton do their job, increasingly lacks life-sustaining nutrients from the cold deep.

via An ocean on the slide could hurt us badly |

Great Natural History Site–For Example: Snowy Plover

What’s great about this is that, unlike the bird identification books or sites, this tells you how these animals live, how they interact in an ecosystem.

    At a Glance Life History (Natural History) of Snowy Plover


    Least Concern

    Cool Facts

    • The Snowy Plover frequently raises two broods a year, and sometimes three in places where the breeding season is long. The female deserts her mate and brood about the time the chicks hatch and initiates a new breeding attempt with a different male.
    • Young Snowy Plovers leave their nest within three hours of hatching. They flatten themselves on the ground when a parent signals the approach of people or potential predators. They walk, run, and swim well and forage unassisted by parents, but require periodic brooding for many days after hatching.

    Nature Mapping-Molding Young Scientists During the School Day | Edutopia

    Molding Young Scientists During the School Day | Edutopia.

    NatureMapping is a program that provides workshops and resources to help students collect and analyze scientific field data, inspiring young scientists through class projects and field trips.

    Here, we provide material from NatureMapping that includes lesson plans for students, as well as information for administrators creating similar after-school programs. The material includes

    via Nature Mapping-Molding Young Scientists During the School Day | Edutopia.

    Cataloging the Vast World of Microbes, in an Encyclopedia –

    Create two new CATEGORY for this: Protists and Monerans?

    If you want to appreciate the diversity of life on earth, you will need a microscope.Skip to next paragraphMultimediaFilling Out the BranchesGraphicFilling Out the BranchesRSS Feed Get Science News From The New York Times »There are about 5,400 species of mammals on the planet, but just a spoonful of soil may contain twice as many species of microbes.

    via Cataloging the Vast World of Microbes, in an Encyclopedia –