Need for Classification of Living Beings

Need for Classification of Living Beings

As we know that a huge variety of plants, animals and other organisms with different form and structures exist on this earth. Therefore, it IS impossible to study all of these variable creatures individually. Hence, to make their study easier, simpler, we have divided them into different ranks or categories on basis of some similariies and differences found among them. Thus, inspite of great diversity, organisms are categorised and arranged in hierarchial señes of groups and subgroups, on basis of some easily observable characters. Hence, classification categorises every organism known to us into specific scientific arrangement to make its study easier.


Once the organism is identified and given a name, it is grouped along with its similar ones, so that its study becomes easier and simpler.

Biological classification is the scientific arrangement of each and every organism, identified and described in a hierarchial series of groups and sub-groups. This is done on the basis of similarities and differences in their traits (or characters) found in them. The process of categorising diffęrent organisms, on the basis of some easily observable characters is known as “Classification“.

When we say, wheat, dog or rat, etc., we recognise each of them with its specific characters and are able to discriminate it from others on the basis of some other characteristics. These specific characteristics shown by the specific organism help us to assign a category to it. The specific term for these categories is “taxa“. Hence, all living organisms can be classified into different taxa on the basis of specific characteristics exhibited by them. The branch of science which deals with the study of principles and procedures of classifications known as “Taxonomy

The classical taxonomy is based on observable morphological characters whereas modern taxonomic studies are based on some essential features like study of both external and internal structure of organisms along with their cell structure, development process and ecologlcalHnformation of organisms.

Hence, characterisation, identification, classification and nomenclature are the processes that a basic to taxonomy.

Taxonomic studies are not recently started but are done from very ancient times by humans, as he is curious about nature. So, he is always interested to know more and more about the nature and the variety of organisms found in it. Not only this, he also exploits some organisms vastly studied, for his own benefit. For instance, early human beings need to find sources of food, clothing and shelter for their survival. Later, they classified them on the basis of their usage. In vedic literature, 740 plants and 250 animals are being identified and classified. Aristotie (384-322 BC) divided living beings into animals, human beings and plants.

Human beings had not only studied different kinds of organisms but also tried to find out relationships among them. This led to the development of a new branch of study in science field, known as “Systematics“. The word systematics is derived from Latin word “Systema” which means systematic arrangement.of organisms.

It was first used by Carolus Linnaeus in the title of his book published as “Systema Naturae” Systematic is more wider field of science as with identification, nomenclature and classification it also takes into account evolutionary relationships between various organisms. “Systematics” is the science which deals with diversity of organisms and all their comparative and evolutionary relationships amongst them.

Taxonomy Systematics
1. Derived from two Greek words ‘taxis’ and ‘nomos’. 1. Derived from Latin word ‘systema’
2. Includes characterisation, identification, nomenclature, classification of organisms 2. Includes characterisation, identification, alongwith their evolutionary study.

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