Taxonomy and Systematics

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Humans have named things of importance to us since the dawn of communication (eat this, run from that...) But how do scientists organize living things and what are the levels of organization they use to describe relationships between groups? Aristotle and Linnaeus take starring roles here, but there's a lot they got wrong.

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Taxonomy and Systematics
Taxonomy (G taxis: arrangement; nomia: method) is the discipline of defining groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics

Hierarchical groups help us to identify related organisms and also describe evolutionary relationships

To understand anything, one must classify it according to it's parts
Classified all animals into two groups: blooded and bloodless

Pliny the Elder

Carl Linnaeus
Systema Naturae 10th ed. in 1758
Binomial Nomenclature

Where do the Names Come From?
Latin (Classical or Medieval)
Classical Greek
Names of People
Names of Places
Other Languages

What's In a Name?
Morphologic Characters
General external morphology
Special structures
Internal morphology
Karyology and other cytological factors
Physiological Factors
Metabolic factors
Body secretions
Genic sterility factors
Molecular Characters
Immunological distance
Electrophoretic differences
Protein sequences
DNA hybridization
DNA and RNA sequences
Restriction endonuclease analyses
Other molecular differences
Behavioral Characters
Courtship and other ethological isolating mechanisms
Other behavior patterns
Ecological Characters
Habitats and hosts
Seasonal variations
Host reactions
Geographic Characters
General biogeographic distribution
Sympatric-allopatric relationship of populations

Levels of Organization
Linnaeus' Domains
Linnaeus Described Six Classes of Animals
Heart with 2 auricles, 2 ventricles. Warm, red blood
Viviparous: Mammalia
Oviparous: Aves
Six Classes of Animals
Heart with 1 auricle, 0 ventricles. Cold, puss-like blood
Have antennae: Insecta
Have tentacles: Vermes
Hierarchy of Similarities

Modern 3-Domain System
Phylum (= Divisions in Botany)
Example: The Dog

Linnaeus (and everyone else) wondered about where these species came from and how to define a species

Linnaeus treated species as immutable

Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Compared living and fossil mammals (elephants and mammoths)
He did not see how organisms could cross inhospitable boundaries to reach suitable environments
He found different kinds of animals and plants in very similar, but completely isolated environments

Age of Enlightenment
Paleontology and the discovery of extinct species in the fossil record began to undermine the static view of nature which had persisted since Aristotle
Species are NOT Fixed Entities

Taxonomy and systematics is a dynamic science

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Tags :

taxonomy binomial nomenclature taxa scientific names Latin names Linnaeus Carl Linnaeus Aristotle Darwin evolution Biology systematics genus species kingdom domain 3 domain system phylum phyla family order class division tree of life organization of life on earth history science history what is a species natural history immutable species fossils fossil record

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Namrata Sharma . 2020-02-23
121 2 . Reply
Kegen Biddle . 2019-11-07
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Shubhangi kamble . 2019-03-24
solid vedio
121 2 . Reply
Lain Padang . 2019-03-20
Thank you for this understanding
121 2 . Reply
Lain Padang . 2019-03-20
Oh dear, now only I understand why the scientific (latin) name must be italised. And when it's capitalised and not (Genus vs species), danke!
121 2 . Reply
sgarcata . 2018-09-02
Loved this... she has such a mellow voice of convincing authority... pleasure to listen to
121 2 . Reply
Sadhna Tyagi . 2018-08-25
Can u speak in Hindi
121 2 . Reply
Prerak Patel . 2018-07-31
latin language can only be written not spoken cause it is a dead language
121 2 . Reply
Puja Yadav . 2018-07-19
Achha h
121 2 . Reply
Arctic Maritimus . 2018-05-28
Found this so delightful
121 2 . Reply
laura gunderman . 2018-04-19
I like cheese
121 2 . Reply
laura gunderman . 2018-04-19
Micro penis
121 2 . Reply
Aakash sharma . 2018-01-02
thanks for melting the mountain of questions inside my head... very nice video
121 2 . Reply
Grigoris Deoudis . 2017-11-26
Nicely done! Came here by looking for the definition of 'type specimen'. After two years of keeping and learning about succulents, plant systematics are still difficult to digest for me, a Greek guy that has an advantage of knowing what all these Greek words mean. Plus, I love Latin language and the pronunciation of these - for some - complex binomial names. So, I have just landed here, I am going to hit the subscribe button and if there's no video about the 'type specimens' (one that can make it very clear, for example, what means "designing a holotype") it would be great if you can make one.
Thanks again!
121 2 . Reply
Mansor Pudted . 2017-09-24
Thank you <3
121 2 . Reply
Dickson Nsiah . 2017-08-27
kudos to you...nice video and very educative
121 2 . Reply
SDK . 2017-08-17
Nepal ..Jay ho
121 2 . Reply
Beja Berber Arawak Banjara . 2017-07-23
Where's the mention of the cross-breeding of animals over more than a thousand years by humans? These same hybrid creations are a part of the taxonomy classifications.
121 2 . Reply
Edwin Luciano . 2017-02-11
You say only dogs and wolves are in the species Canis lupus but that's only if you only count the species that are found this side of the Wall. The Wildings (they prefer to be called "Free Folk") report Dire Wolves on the other side (which they call "the True North").
121 2 . Reply
dcscccc . 2017-02-05
something i doesnt get right. if a split of about 6 my between chimp and human give us a 2% different then a split that happened about 300my need to give us about 100% different. far from reality (lung fish isnt so different from coelacanth for example)
121 2 . Reply
Beatriz Rodriguez . 2017-01-24
omfg she made me laugh just by being herself lmaoo
121 2 . Reply
Joefel Raymund Bosque . 2016-08-09
The way she discuss is a hundred times better than my teacher. REALTALK.
121 2 . Reply
Reny Rex . 2016-06-22
Cool education there.
121 2 . Reply
G. Repp . 2016-03-13
this is so interesting. thank you for the video.
121 2 . Reply
Bea Angela . 2016-02-23
I really like the way how you discuss
121 2 . Reply
26Snoopy82 . 2016-02-05
Great video you really explained it very clearly!
121 2 . Reply
Harper Ballad . 2016-02-03
Who is else was brought here by school?
121 2 . Reply
Harper Ballad . 2016-02-03
Who is else was brought here by school?
121 2 . Reply
Ed Gloss . 2015-06-29
Maybe it's just me but I found taxonomy to be incredibly interesting and informative and one of the concepts that helped to really drive home and solidify evolution and common ancestry.
121 2 . Reply
Rachel C. . 2015-01-14
Very helpful. Thanks :) 
121 2 . Reply
Ali Sadeghiadl . 2014-10-25
This is the best AP biology study channel in the whole you tube +1 from me
121 2 . Reply
David Marquez . 2014-09-09
Who dislikes this? :S
121 2 . Reply
CakeTasty . 2014-06-18
GREAT video (very clear)
I don't even study science as a secondary, I just like to learn new things--- and this video has sparked an interest in biology/taxonomy in me!
Thank you for your hard work!
121 2 . Reply
Killer Robot Monkey . 2014-05-29
For an understanding of modern taxonomy and systematics, you cannot leave out cladistics. If you go to a biology conference, almost everyone there will be using cladistics for systematics. Cladistics won the "taxonomy war" a few decades ago. Most biologists now are cadists, meaning they hold to that a phylogeny must be monophyletic and that paraphyletic and polyphyletic groupings are unscientific. This video is accurate for almost everything up to the 1980s.
121 2 . Reply
Emmyrose Mahdy . 2014-04-16
wow thank you
121 2 . Reply
iqzibal . 2014-01-22
Awesome video. Clear and simple :D
121 2 . Reply
Jeune Bienah . 2013-11-21
I LOVE THIS VIDEO! Hope i'll pass my exams tommorow :)
121 2 . Reply
Jeffrey Houser . 2013-10-24
Excellent video! Very informative and well presented!
121 2 . Reply
AcanLord . 2013-10-13
Solid video. Useful for studying purposes.
121 2 . Reply
AcanLord . 2013-10-13
Protists are being found to be polyphyletic. its actually a bunch of different kingdoms bunched together that dont really have much in common.
121 2 . Reply
R Rivas . 2013-09-13
Great video Thank you!!!
121 2 . Reply
Kgotso Chabangu . 2013-09-10
Prokaryota, Protoctista, Fungus, Plantae and Animalia. Those are the five kingdoms.
121 2 . Reply
Kgotso Chabangu . 2013-09-10
This is great, Thank you.
121 2 . Reply
Saisha Karbhari . 2013-07-19
this video has really been very helpful....
121 2 . Reply
Royals . 2013-07-01
Incredible. I'm in college and find this useful.
121 2 . Reply
sudeep dwivedi . 2013-05-19
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duckspaddling . 2013-03-31
Thank you for this video. What are the different kingdoms?
121 2 . Reply
The Meandering Life . 2013-03-14
I recommend your videos to all kids I encounter who are interested in science, Keep up the good work!!
121 2 . Reply
Narain Sahu . 2013-03-14
Remarkable discriptions.
121 2 . Reply
Omer Peretz . 2013-03-14
Loved it!
121 2 . Reply