Unit B

Module 3 ~ Lesson 4


In this lesson you explored the following questions:

  • How are organisms classified and named?

  • How can observable characteristics be used to identify organisms at the genus species level?

In order to study and discuss ecosystems, you must know how to classify and name species. This lesson has shown the importance of taxonomy (classifying organisms) and binomial nomenclature (naming organisms). When scientists around the world study an organism, they will all use the same scientific name to describe the same species. This allows for collaboration between different national parks around the world. Animals can have more than one common name, which can create confusion.

Organisms are first organized into domains and kingdoms. The characteristics used to classify living things into the three domains, and their kingdoms are based on cell structure, function, and the number of cells (unicellular or multicellular). You were able to organize arthropod specimens into their classes based on their observed characteristics. Being able to classify organisms is important so that confusion can be avoided in determining names for the millions of organisms that occupy the planet.

 Lesson Glossary

binomial nomenclature: a system in which a two-word name (genus and species) is used to identify an organism

domain: the highest level of classification of living things (above kingdom)

morphological: having to do with the form and structure of an organism

scientific name: the genus and species name used together to identify an organism

taxonomy: the practice of classifying organisms based on common fundamental characteristics