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BIO312: Evolutionary Biology

Unit 6: Current Taxonomy   We will study the six kingdoms of life and the common characteristics of each taxonomic group. In greater detail, we will look at the array of plant and animal life and their classification into phyla and classes. The main phylogeny of life shows that Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya are the tree domains of life, categories higher than kingdoms. The lineages of Bacteria and Archaea are both prokaryotes and while very different, they help us understand how the last and perhaps most recent, common ancestor of all life (LUCA) was indeed a simple prokaryote. Domain Eukarya is the best known and comprise different kingdoms of organisms, all with a membrane bound nucleus and organelles. Such kingdoms are Protista, Plantae, Fungi and Animalia.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 30 minutes

☐    Subunit 6.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 30 minutes

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - list and describe the three Domains of life; - list and describe the five Kingdoms of life; - list the major characteristics of the nine animal phyla from the readings; - compare and contrast the characteristics of prokaryotes and eukaryotes; - compare and contrast the characteristics of plants and animals; and - compare and contrast the characteristics of nonvascular, seedless plants with vascular seed plants.

6.1 Kingdoms   Systematics and classification (or taxonomy) of living and non-living things around us has its origins in times of Greek philosophers, such as Aristotle and Plato. Their writings led to what was known, for centuries to follow, as the Natural History, as well as to Carolus Linneaus’ hierarchal classification system (18th century), which we still use today. However, modern classification is based on the evolutionary history and coherent scientific hypotheses and methods. Below you will find a brief introduction into major taxonomical groups/kingdoms of life on Earth.

  • Reading: National Earth Science Teachers Association: Website to the Universe: “Classification of Living Things” Link: National Earth Science Teachers Association: Website to the Universe: Classification of Living Things (HTML)
     
    Instructions: This webpage and the links from the main page cover sections 6.1.1 through 6.1.6. Be able to characterize each of the different kingdoms.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: University of Cincinnati, Clermont College: J. Stein Carter’s “Taxonomy of Various Groups of Organisms” Link: University of Cincinnati, Clermont College: J. Stein Carter’s Taxonomy of Various Groups of Organisms (HTML)

    Instructions: Read through the material on this page and complete, as an optional activity, the scavenger hunt assignment.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.1 Archaebacteria   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading, “Classification of Living Things,” assigned beneath subunit 6.1.

  • Reading: Encyclopedia of Life: David J. Patterson’s “Archaea” Link: Encyclopedia of Life: David J. Patterson’s “Archaea” (HTML)          

    Instructions: Visit the page and examine the available media on Arcahea.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

6.1.2 Eubacteria   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading, “Classification of Living Things,” assigned beneath subunit 6.1.