Before identifying individual species, scientists classify life things into groups. These teams are based upon their appearance, movement, how they reproduce and also genetic makeup.

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A BioBlitz gives world the opportunity to take a closer look at what stays in one area and also identify species that may otherwise walk unnoticed. Scientists follow a procedure to classify and identify life things.

Living Things

Living things space all around us. You understand that humans and also animals are living, however what around the tree in the forest, or even the microscopic biology in a pond? also though they appear to be very different from one another, they room all life things. Scientists study these differences, then classify, or group similar living things together.

Taxonomy of living Things

Living things are classified right into groups. These teams start out big and gain smaller till unique attributes can it is in identified, and also a types name given. Group living things with others who share comparable characteristics provides it simple for researchers to examine them. This mechanism of category is called taxonomy.

Scientists divide living points at seven different levels: 


To make these classifications researchers look at characteristics, such as:


Despite currently for thousands of years, the scientific research of category is far from dead. Classification of many types can be complicated and scientists don’t constantly agree.



Scientists think there space at least five kingdoms:

animalsplantsfungiprotists (very simple bsci-ch.organisms that deserve to move)bacteria.

Some scientists now support the idea that a 6th kingdom that viruses. This is still gift argued roughly the world.


Below the kingdom is the phylum (plural phyla). In ~ the pet kingdom, significant phyla include:

chordata (animals through a backbone)arthropoda (includes insects)mollusca (molluscs such as snails).


Each phylum is then split into classes. Classes in ~ the chordata phylum incorporate mammals, insects, reptiles and fish, amongst others.


The class will climate be subdivided into an order. Within the mammals class, some instances of an bespeak include:

cetacea (including whales and also dolphins)carnivoresprimates (monkeys, apes and also humans)bats.


From the order, the bsci-ch.organism will certainly be classified into a family. In ~ the bespeak of primates, family members include:

hominids (great apes and humans)old world chimpanzees such as baboonsgibbons and also lesser apes.

Genus and also species

Finally, the category will pertained to the genus and species. These room the surname that space most typically used to explain an bsci-ch.organism. Typically there are a team of bsci-ch.organisms that make up a genus. An instance within the primate household is the genus Homo for every human varieties (Homo sapiens).

When identifying types during a BioBlitz you can use an innovation such together iNaturalist to help you determine a genus and species. You may also use a usual name or Māori name. Because that example, a kererū or brand-new Zealand pigeon is additionally known as a kūkūpa, kūkū, hardwood pigeon or indigenous pigeon. Its scientific name is Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae.

Scientific surname are based upon Latin and used all roughly the world. This universal scientific language permits scientists indigenous different nations to recognize each other. Every living thing is offered a two-part name that tells us which genus that belongs to and then provides a unique species name.

Ready for a quiz? shot the "Identifying life Things" interaction activity.

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Grasshoppers are component of the animal kingdom and are classed together insects due to the fact that they have actually six legs. Image: Shelley Hersey,

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Sometimes you need to look an extremely closely to be able to identify various plants and also animals. This is a scab weed, one endemic varieties growing in Ō Tū Wharekai. Image: Andrew Penny,

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Plants have the right to look an extremely different at various times the the year. Attributes such as flowers can help identify various species. This is one of 30 varieties of brand-new Zealand gentian. Image: Shelley Hersey,

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This scree skink belongs come the reptile class. Image: Andrew Penny,