History Of Classification

By: Paige Barnett

Aristotle: 350 BC

Aristotle made detailed observations of organisms proposed an epigenetic theory of development attempted classification of animals and believed animals could hybridize feely. Classified animals based on their means of transportation. First to classify according to structure similarities.

Theophrastus: 300 BC

He worked with Aristotle and he classified plants according to their uses and methods of cultivation he made subdivisions for plants based on shape into broader categories.

Andrea Cesalpino: 1583

He was the first to classify plants according to structural characteristics. He was also the first to use species as the fundamental unit of classification.

John Ray: 1686

He brought order to the mess of names that naturalist used during that time. His classification system of plants was the first to divide flowering plants into monocots and dicots. He tried to base his systems on all the structural characteristics, including internal anatomy. Due to his work classification of plant groups was better and the arrangement showed natural relationships with one another. He was the first to have a a biological definition of species.

Linnaeus: 1735

He divided the animal kingdom into species and gave each one a distinctive name. He grouped species into genera, genera into orders, and orders into classes. A lot of his classifications has now been drastically altered, but the basic principles is still followed. He divided into three kingdoms: animal, vegetable, and mineral.

Charles Darwin: 1859

Darwin stated that classification systems should reflect the history of life meaning species should be related based on their shared ancestry. He said that species are groups that come from the same ancestry in recent history, while organisms in higher taxa, such as genera, class, or order, come from a shared ancestor further back in history.

Herbert Copeland: 1938

He said that the distinctions between prokaryotes and eukaryotes were so fundamental that prokaryotes needed a fourth kingdom of their own called Kingdom Monera (now called Kingdom Prokaryotae).

Robert H. Whittaker: 1950's

He proposed adding another kingdom for fungi because fungi of the way it receives food. Before it had been classified with plants, but Whittaker said that fungi don't make their own food or ingest it. Created the fifth kingdom of bacteria.

Carl Woese: 1990

He made a six-kingdom classification system where he separated prokaryotic organisms into two kingdoms, the Archaebacteria and Eubacteria and placed eukaryotic organisms into the Kingdoms Plantae, Animalia, Fungi, and Protista. He later advocated the use of a new category called the domain. In his new system, all life forms are grouped into three domains: bacteria, archaea, and eukarya.

Thomas Cavalier-Smith: 1998

He divided the animal kingdom into four sub-kingdoms. He created three new animal phyla and recognized twenty three animal phyla. Under his classification system, protozoa share the fact that they have come from organisms with mitochondria and peroxisomes, they lack collagenous connective tissue, epiciliary retronemes, and two additional membranes outside their chloroplast envelope.

The primary uses of classification in present day science

The primary use of it is to help scientists classify the characteristics of new species that are discovered. They use the system to help them know what category to place the new species in. That is the main use of classification in present day.