PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-Biology
CHAPTER 13 : THE UNITY AND DIVERSITY OF LIFE
The living world consists of millions of species of organisms. These present enormous diversity ranging from micro-organisms to the highest evolved plants and animals. The knowledge about all these organisms will be highly confusing, meaningless and useless if they are not properly identified and arranged systematically.
The systematic arrangement of properly identified and named
organisms is called classification, systematics or taxonomy.
(taxis = arrangement, nomos = order or law)
Thus, taxonomy is a branch of biology which deals
with collection of organisms, their identification, nomenclature and systematic
grouping or classification into various categories. This is done
on the basis of similarities and differences of their morphological, anatomical,
cytological, genetical, physiological, biochemical, developmental and
The similarities of characteristics between species or
groups of species indicate their relationship. This is also gives us some
idea about their phylogeny (i.e. their evolutionary history).
The classification of plants into various groups is called plant taxonomy or systematic botany. Similarly, classification of animals is called animal taxonomy or systematic zoology.