Monkey

Quiz Monkey
What do you want to know?

You are here:

Science
Natural History
Taxonomy

If you like my website, and/or if you've found it useful, please consider making a small donation to my Just Giving page, which I've set up just for this purpose. To begin with I'm collecting for a charity whose work I have benefitted from myself (and continue to do so): the British Heart Foundation. It would be great to raise £100 in the first month.

If you have already donated ... Thank You!

Taxonomy

This is a complicated subject; indeed, as someone who gave up biology at 'O' Level, I'm not sure how correct the above heading is. Basically, this page is about the classification of living things; and that was the title that seemed to fit best.

I was once taught a very useful mnemonic for remembering the taxonomical rankings, and I think this is a very good place to start. The following table explains:

Mnemonic Classification Examples
King Kingdom Animals, Plants
Philip Phylum Vertebrates, Invertebrates
Caught Class Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Arthropods
Our Order Primates, Rodents, Carnivores
Father Family Lemurs, Amphibians, Whales, Dolphins, Dogs, Felids
Going Genus Panthers, Felines
Swimming Species Lion, Tiger, Panther, Leopard
  Subspecies Bengal tiger, Sumatran tiger, Siberian tiger

There are other taxonomical ranks, but these are the main ones.  The words in bold type in the above table show, as an example, the classification of the Bengal tiger.

A group of organisms that consists of a common ancestor and all its lineal descendants – representing a single 'branch' on the 'tree of life' Click to show or hide the answer
Plural of genus Click to show or hide the answer

The next table gives some examples of classifications – the sort that tend to come up in quizzes.

The question in its simplest form is "What type of [animal or plant] are ... [see Column 3]?"

This is clearly quite vague. What do you mean by "type"? This page is supposed to be about classification, so I think you need to be a bit more precise.

I've attempted to address this issue by including the first two columns, labelled A and B. If you want to be precise, you can ask "Which (A) of (B) includes (C)?" (For example: "Which phylum of animals includes insects, arachnids and crustaceans?")

If you're answering the question, you don't really need to know that the arthropoda are a phylum; you just need to know that insects, arachnids and crustaceans are all arthropods.

I hope this helps ...

AB C
GroupOrganismsSpirogyra, seaweeds Click to show or hide the answer
GroupFlowering plantsOnion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek, chives Click to show or hide the answer
ClassVertebratesFrogs, toads, newts Click to show or hide the answer
ClassInvertebratesSpiders, scorpions, mites Click to show or hide the answer
PhylumAnimalsInsects, arachnids, crustaceans Click to show or hide the answer
ClassVertebratesBirds Click to show or hide the answer
ClassMolluscsClams, oysters, cockles, mussels, scallops Click to show or hide the answer
GenusFlowering plantsRed, green and Cayenne peppers (genus of the potato family) Click to show or hide the answer
ClassMolluscsOctopuses, squids, cuttlefish Click to show or hide the answer
OrderMammalsWhales, dolphins, porpoises Click to show or hide the answer
OrderMammalsBats Click to show or hide the answer
OrderInsectsBeetles Click to show or hide the answer
GroupArthropodsCrabs, lobsters, shrimps, sand–hoppers, woodlice, water–fleas, barnacles Click to show or hide the answer
ClassMolluscsSlugs, snails, and shellfish Click to show or hide the answer
OrderInsectsButterflies and moths Click to show or hide the answer
FamilyMarsupialsKangaroos, wallabies Click to show or hide the answer
PhylumInvertebratesGastropods, cephalopods, bivalves Click to show or hide the answer
PhylumAnimalsWorms Click to show or hide the answer
PhylumAnimalsSponges Click to show or hide the answer
GroupBirdsFlightless birds Click to show or hide the answer
FamilyRodentsSquirrels Click to show or hide the answer
OrderReptilesTurtles, tortoises, terrapins Click to show or hide the answer
Family(Plants)Hemlocks, carrots Click to show or hide the answer
FamilyMammalsBears Click to show or hide the answer

Which type of insects belong to the genus that's known scientifically as Apis? Click to show or hide the answer
Which type of insects belong to the family that's known scientifically as Caelifera? Click to show or hide the answer
Which type of birds belong to the family that's known scientifically as Laridae? Click to show or hide the answer
Which type of insects belong to the family that's known scientifically as Culicidae? Click to show or hide the answer
Which type of birds belong to the family that's known scientifically as Strigidae? Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–18