You are on page 1of 21


 Systematics is the study of biological diversity and its evolution. Taxonomy, a
subdivision of systematics, is the science of biological classification.
1.Classification systems help to clarify relationships among organisms; they help us
remember organisms and their traits; they enable us to communicate clearly the identity
of organisms being studied; they improve our predictive powers; and they provide stable
2.Taxonomic systems used by biologists are hierarchical, that is, each higher group
contains all the groups below it.


 First, they are an aid to memory. It is impossible to remember the characteristics
of a large number of different things unless we can group them into categories,
whose members share many characteristics.
 Second, classification systems greatly improve our predictive powers.
 If, for example, we know that females of all known mammalian species have
mammary glands with which they produce milk for their offspring, we can be quite
certain that a newly discovered animal with other typical mammalian traits, such
as hair and a constant, high body temperature, will also have this method of
provisioning its offspring, even if the first individuals we happen to find are males,
and hence lack functional mammary glands.
 Third, classification systems improve our ability to explain relationships among
things. For biologists, this is especially important when we attempt to reconstruct
the evolutionary pathways that have produced the diversity of organisms living
 Fourth, taxonomic systems provide relatively stable, unique, and unequivocal
names for organisms. If those names are changed, the systems provide means of
tracing the changes.
 Common names, even if they exist (most organisms do not have common names
at all), are unreliable and often confusing

Key Concepts
 Taxonomy- is the science by which organisms are classified in heirarchical
categories referred to as taxa.
Seven categories:
1. Kingdom
2. Phylum
3. Class
4. Order
5. Family
6. Genus
7. Species
 Carolus Linnaeus was the great classifier. He designed the system of binomial
nomenclature where each unique type of organism is given a unique two word
name, the genus and specific epitaph (species).
Characteristics of Five Kingdoms
Kingdom Cell Type Cell Number Major Mode of
Monera Prokaryotic Unicellular Absorb or
Protista Eukaryotic Unicellular Absorb, ingest,
Fungi Eukaryotic Mostly Multicellular Absorb, heterotrophic
Plantae Eukaryotic Multicellular Photosynthesize
Animalia Eukaryotic Multicellular Ingest, heterotrophic

All living things are placed into groups depending on common
characteristics. The animal kingdom is informally divided into two
groups, the vertebrates and invertebrates. Invertebrates are a
group of animals that have no backbone, unlike animals such as
reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds and mammals who all have a

PHYLLUM PROTOZOA: Protozoa (Gk. Protos = first, zoon = animal; mostly microscopic,
unicellular animals; Examples: euglena, volvox, trypanosoma, paramecium, amoeba)
PHYLLUM ECHINODERMATA: Echinoderms (echinos = sea urchin, derma = skin, ata =
characterized by)
- Example: starfish
1. Class Echinoidea: sea urchin 2. Class Holothuroidea: sea
- Example: earthworm
PHYLLUM MOLLUSCA: Mollusks (soft-bodied animals, w/o exoskeleton) - Example:
PHYLLUM ARTHROPODA: Arthropods (arthron = joint, podos = foot); Class Chilopoda
(centipedes), Class Diplopoda (millipede), Class Crustacea (crabs), Class Arachnida
(spiders), Class insecta (insects)
PHYLUM COELENTERATA or CNIDARIA: koilos = hollow, enteron = gut, ata =
characterized by, knide = nettle, arai = connecting with
 Class Hydrazoa: hydra = water serpent, zoon = animal
- Example: hydra
 Class Anthozoa: anthos = flower, zoon = animal
- Examples: sea anemone, corals
PHYLUM NEMATHEMINTHES: nema = thread, helmins = worm
- Examples: Ascaris (intestinal roundworms), Necator (hookworm), Wuchereria
(filaria worm), Trichinella (trichina worm), Enterobius (pinworm)
PHYLUM PLATYHELMINTHES: platys = flat, helmins = worm
- Examples: planaria, Schistosoma, Taenia, Fasciola
PHYLLUM CTENOPHORA: ctenos = comb, phoros = bearing
Class Tentaculata: tentaculum = feeler, ata = characterized by; Example: Cestum,
Class Nuda: nudus = naked or w/o tentacles or feelers; Example: Beroe
PHYLLUM PORIFERA: porus = pore, ferre = to bear;
 Class Calcispongiea or Calcarea: spongos = sponge, calcis = lime; Examples:
Scypha, Leucosolenia
 Class Hyalospongiea or Hexactinellida: hyalos = glass, spongos = lime; Example:
Venus flower basket (Euplectella aspergillum)
 Class Demospongiea: demas = frame, spongos = lime;
Examples: all bath sponges like Euspongia, Cliona, Spongilla (fresh water form)

Phylum: Porifera Phylum:Cnidaria

Phylum: Ctenophora Phylum: Mollusca

Phylum Porifera

Poriferans are commonly referred to as sponges.

The only species in Porifera is a sponge.
Most sponges live in the ocean, but just to be contrary a family called by the strange
name of Spongillidae can live in freshwater too.
They eat small crabs and plankton
Sponges rely on the water .
Water is also crucial to the sponge's circulation.
The sponges reproduce either sexually or asexually.
When they reproduce sexually, they usually cross-fertilize. Eggs and sperm unite to
make a free-swimming larva that settles on a different surface.
Asexually, the sponge produces small, internal buds called gemules. These gemules
each produce a new sponge. Sponges can also reconstitute themselves if their cells
are separated into a suspension.


Phylum: Cnidaria
The name Cnidaria comes from the Greek word "cnidos", which means stinging
Many thousands of cnidarian species live in the world's oceans.
All Cnidarians are acoelomates (no body cavity); they have stinging cells called
Cnidarians have both sexual and asexual reproduction cycles.
The polyp cycle can reproduce by budding off an exact clone of itself (but smaller)--this is
asexual reproduction; they can also produce a cloned larva asexually.

Cnidarians include the following:

1)Class: Anthozoa (CORALS, SEA ANEMONES)
2) Class: Hydrozoa (HYDROIDS, SIPHONOPHORES--Portugese Man-of-War)
3) Class: Schyphozoa (JELLYFISH)

Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Corals come in all shapes and sizes--some are
reef-builders while others are non reef-builders:
The reef builders are the corals that can be seen in the Great Barrier Reef of
Australia. Reef builders build high structures composed of living and non-living materials.
The living materials are most often sponges, algae, and the corals themselves. The non-
living materials are most often the discarded shells of dead bivalves (clams, mussels,
etc.) and other CaCO3 materials. Coral reefs grow about a meter every one thousand
years, so you see why it's very difficult for a reef to recover if it is destroyed.

Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Actiniaria
One species of Cnidarian is a sea anemone.
- lives under the sea, as its name indicates.
- It is generally attached to a rock of some sort.
- The sea anemone mainly eats fish.
- it stuns the fish that is to be eaten with
- Then, its tentacles drag the fish to its
- (Ingestion) It is digested in a central cavity, and
then the waste is excreted, once again, through its mouth
because the anemone's mouth is its only opening.
- It can reproduce both sexually and asexually.
- They perform lateral fission, which is when a new
anemone sprouts out of the parent's side, then breaks off.

Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hydrozoa
- The animals of the class hydrozoa have both
a polyp and medusa stage. - -
- Siphonophores are a type of hydrozoan with
a float for buoyancy.
- the most famous of these is the species
physalia, the Portugese-man-of-war, which
is a type of colonial siphonophore

Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Schyphozoa
- Jellyfish are cnidarians which lack
the polyp stage of the life cycle.
- they are always in the medusae
- They are considered plankton (cannot swim on their
own--they are dependent upon the current to take them places).
- They are normally found in the epipelagic layer of the ocean

Phylum: Ctenophora
- Comb Jellies are often mistaken for jellyfish, but they are not.
- Ctenophores have eight rows of comblike plates arranged longitudinally around the
- They have a mouth, a stomach, but no anus.
Two types of ctenophores are: Pleurobrachia and Beroe.
Have lateral tentacles, and their mouths
have paired tentacles with tentillae (colorblasts to
capture prey).
Brine shrimp is their food source; they also
eat larval herring and can have a devastating
effect on their populations.


• Are ferocious predators upon their own kind, especially Pleurobrachia
• They have thousands of tiny teeth (macrocilia) which puncture their prey.
• Some deep sea species are highly pigmented (ctenophores are usually
• In order to swim better, Beroes keep their mouths closed to create a more
streamlined body and reduce drag. In order to keep its mouth closed, the Beroe
has two specialized strips of epithelial cells around its lips which act as a seal.

Phylum Mollusca

Phylum Mollusca
• There is one thing that all mollusks have in common; a foot. The foot is used for
different purposes in each class.
• Most mollusks have a soft, skin-like organ covered with a hard outside shell.
• Some mollusks live on land, such as the snail and slug.
• Other mollusks live in water, such as the oyster, mussel, clam, squid and octopus.
• Land living mollusks, like the snail, move slowly on a flat sole called a foot.
• Ocean living mollusks move or swim by jet propulsion.
Other ocean living mollusks, like the oyster, attach themselves to rocks or other surfaces,
and can't move.
• They feed by filtering small food particles from water that flows through them.
Here are four classes of mollusks:
1)Class: Cephalopoda
2) Class: Bivalvia
3) Class: Gastropoda
4) Class: Polyplacophor

Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Cephalopoda(head-foot)
Because of the many movies in which cephalopods, especially octopi and squids, attack
people, boats, etc., there is a misconception that they are aggressive and dumb
creatures. In fact, there are only two species of octopi that are aggressive (they are
located in Australia), and they are highly intelligent. They are probably the most
intelligent of all the invertebrates.

Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia(two shells)
Bivalves use their foot to move themselves.
One species in the phylum Mollusca is a clam.
The clam lives mainly in the ocean, in colonies called beds. It eats plankton, and moves
by using a single foot to burrow through the sand.
The clam breathes the same way most marine animals do.It ingests food by using cilia to
retain food from the passing water and to carry it into their mouths. Lastly, it reproduces
when females expel eggs into the surrounding water, and males fertilize them.

Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda(stomach-foot)
Slugs and snails are members of a larger group or Phylum known as Mollusca.
Snails and slugs are known as gastropods, which means 'stomach foot'.
The head is at one end of this foot the snail or slug moves by gliding along a surface of
mucus or slime that is produced from glands on the foot. All gastropods have a well-
developed head with eyes and 1-2 pairs of tentacles.
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Polyplacophora
The body of a chiton is covered by a shell that
consists of a series of eight symmetrical,
overlapping plates. A chiton can roll itself up into a
ball, exposing only the hard shell, when it feels
threatened. It moves using an oval, footlike
appendage. The chiton also uses the foot to cling to rocks. Chitons
feeds upon seaweed and algae
 Ex. Sea squirts
 Ex. Amphioxus
 EX. Acorn worm

Subphylum Vertebrata
 Class Agnatha – jawless fishes
 Ex. lampreys
 Class Chondrichthyes
 Ex. Sharks and rays
 Ray-finned fishes
 Ex. Perch, puffer fish,
 Lobed-finned fishes
 Ex. Lamitera, Lepidosiren

- swamp dwelling
- salamander-like amphibians
 O. urodela – newts and salamander
 O. Anura – frogs and toads
 O. Apoda - Caecilians


Reconstruction of Ichthyostega, a Late Devonian relative of Densignathus

newt salamander

Apodans- Caecelians

 Better adapted to terrestrial environment
 3 extra embryonic membranes
1. amnion 2. chorion 3. allantois
 Oviparous (egg-laying animals),
 Young hatched fully –formed without passing larval stage
 Epidermal scales-plaques, shields, scales
 Ex. Turtle, snakes, dinosaurs, alligators


lizards Coral snake

crocodile alligator

plesiosaurs pelycosaurs
 Wings – carpometacarpus
 Legs – tarsometatarsus
 Feathers, beaks, endothermy
 Oldest known birds
 Carinating, ratitating

 With mammary glands
 Warm-blooded animals
 Modified structures:
 Horns, hooves, claws, hairs, etc.
 Chorioallantoic placenta

kangaroo wallaby

wolf opossum

hedgehogs solenodons

bats lemurs



Armillaria ostoyae
Largest Living Organism
2,200 acres (890 hectares) and be at least 2,400 years old

Loxodonta africana
Largest Land Animal
· In one year an elephant can drink 15,000 gal/57,000 liters of water
· Male elephants usually weigh about 16,500 lbs/7,425 kgs and are
about 20 ft/6.1m long

Balaenoptera musculus
Biggest Living Creature
It takes about 8,000 lbs/3600kg of fresh seafood a day to keep the
blue whale well fed

Largest North American Cat

mountain lion, cougar, puma, and panther, catamount
its scientific name - Felis concolor.
Ursus maritimus
Largest Land Carnivore
record was a male taken in 1894 that weighed 1,656lbs/745kgs

Aconyx jubatus
Fastest On Land
These cats can run 70mph/112kph


Geochelone radiate
Oldest Living Creature
at least 188 years old
Oldest Living Organism
Bacillus permians
= 250 –Million-yr-old

Falco Peregrinus
Fastest in the Air
They can fly horizontally at speeds up to 55 mph, but they BLOW
AWAY the competition when flying in a downward dive to strike
their prey - over 270 mph

Istiophorus platypterus
Fastest in the Sea
sailfish is related to other "billed" fish, such as Marlin and
Swordfish, which are all very fast. But the sailfish has them all beat
by clocking in at speeds up to 68mph

SEA WASP (Marine Stinger)

Chironex fleckeri (jelly fish)
Deadliest Creature
The venom from a single creature can kill up to 60 adults! Over 100
people have been killed by the stings from a Chironex fleckeri and
many more have been stung, but lived. Get stung badly enough by
one and you could be dead within four minutes

Giant Squid
10 meters (32.8 feet), and weighed 1,089 lbs. Colossal squid, named
Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni
Cyanea capillata
Giant Jellyfish
measured was found washed ashore and had a 'bell' over 7ft. across
with tentacles that dangled over 120ft long! That's even longer than the
Blue Whale...

Physeter macrocephalus
Largest Ocean Carnivore
orcas can reach up to 60 feet long and weigh over 40 tons (80,000
pounds)! The females are usually half the size of the male sperm


Pangasius gigas
Biggest Freshwater Fish
The largest (authenticated) freshwater fish on record seems
to be a giant Mekong Catfish captured in May of 2005 in
Thailand. It was nine feet long and weighed 646 lbs

Rhincodon typus
Biggest Fish
Location: Warm, temperate waters of the
Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Facts: This fish can get up to 50 feet long and can
weigh over 16 tons. That gaping mouth can open as wide as five feet - enough to swallow
YOU whole.

Deepest Ocean Creatures

Viper fish (Mesopelagic - found at 80-1600 meters - about a mile down)
Some of them are black as night all over with light organs (called photophores) in
strategic places on their bodies, including one on a long dorsal fin that serves as a lure
for the fish it preys upon
Here's an up close and personal view of the wicked-looking Viper fish (Chauliodus
macouni). Check out the teeth and the bug eyes on this guy

A Fangtooth
Deep Sea Vent Creatures
Some of the most impressive of the
creatures are the giant tube-worms

Giant tubeworms that live around

hydrothermal vents on the sea floor.
These creatures are about the size of
your hand in shallower waters, but in the ocean's deep they
have been found as big as eight feet long

Most Ferocious Creature

Pygocentrus nattereri
Location: The Amazon River, and other large, slow-moving rivers in
South America.
Facts: Piranhas live in schools of about 20 fish and will take down a
fish any size and clean the flesh off the bones within minutes
There are approximately 20 species of piranha found living in the
Amazon River, with only four or five of them posing any danger.
Most piranha species are quite harmless and docile

Eunectes murinus
Biggest Snake
Location: In rivers that feed into the Amazon River in South America.
Facts: The largest anaconda ever measured was almost 28 feet long with a girth of 44
inches. She wasn't weighed at the time she was caught, but scientists estimate that she
must have weighed over 500 lbs.

Goliathus regius Klug
Giant Insects
Biggest Insect
Location: Found in rainforests around the globe, in
places like Costa Rica or the Amazon Jungle.
Facts: Although there are other giant insects that are longer, or wider
than the Goliath Beetle, this guy holds the record for biggest insect because of its mass
(or weight). They can grow up to 4.5 inches (11.43 cm) long and weigh up to 3.5 ounces.

Theraphosa blondii
Biggest Spider
Location: This big guy is found in the coastal rainforests of northeastern South America,
in the jungle.
Facts: These spiders are a sub-species of tarantula, which are the largest spiders in the
animal kingdom. The biggest goliath spider on record had a legspan that measured just
over 11 inches across! That's big enough to cover a dinner plate.

Related Interests