Classifying Living Things

Lauren Buck

How living Things are Classified-Discovery

How do Scientists Classify? Why Scientists Classify Living Things?

Group living things by similar characteristics. Grouped further based on similar features. Reasons scientists classify living things are to show how a new living thing relates to others and to make it easier to find and share information.


Every living thing is classified into one of the five kingdoms. The five kingdoms are animals, plants, fungi, protists, and monerans.

Animal Classification

Living things that are classified as an animal are made up of many cells that have a nuclei and cannot make their own food, therefore they eat other living things to survive. Animals are divided into two groups: vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrates have a backbone and are examples such as mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone and examples are such as arthropods and mollusks.  

Plant Classification

Plants consist of many cells with a nuclei. Plants make their own food. Plants are classified into two main groups: vascular and nonvascular. Vascular plants are plants with tubes. Tubes are found in roots, stems, and leaves. These tubes carry water and nutrients throughout the plant. Examples of vascular plants are ferns and trees. Nonvasuclar plants are plants without tubes. The water soaks into the plants and passes from cell to cell. These types of plants live in damp places and do not grow to be large or tall. Examples of nonvascular plants are moss and liverworts.


Vertebrates are made up of bones and muscles. The bones support their bodies from the inside and muscles attach to the bone at movable joints. Invertebrates have hard outer covering. These coverings are made of material much like human fingernails. The muscles attach on the inside of covering at flexible joints.