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ZingPath: Classification

Domains and Kingdoms

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Domains and Kingdoms


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You will conduct tests on newly discovered cells to determine if the cells are native to Earth.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain that all organisms on Earth can be classified into six kingdoms according to their cellular characteristics.
  • Describe key cellular differences between Archaebacteria and Animalia.
  • Identify the kingdom of an unknown organism by checking its cellular characteristics.
  • Identify the three domains and six kingdoms of the modern classification system.
  • Match the six kingdoms to the correct domains.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Throughout history, philosophers and scientists (including Aristotle and Linnaeus) have organized organisms into various groupings. One of the original classification systems recognized organisms as either plants or animals. After many years and many discoveries, this system proved to be inadequate, so additional categories were added.

Until recently, there were five recognized kingdoms. However, discoveries of Archaebacteria (prokaryotes that live in extreme conditions) led scientists to update the modern classification system further. This system currently operates with three domains (the largest and broadest category) known as Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya.

Domain Archaea contains one kingdom called Archaebacteria, consisting of prokaryotic organisms that live in extreme environments like volcanic hot springs. Domain Bacteria also contains one kingdom called Eubacteria. Domain Eukarya is the only domain containing multiple kingdoms, including Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia. After kingdoms, the modern classification system further divides organisms into more and more specific categories known as Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.

In order to classify newly discovered organisms into the appropriate kingdom, scientists look at a variety of cellular characteristics, including the presence or absence of the following: cell walls, centrioles, chloroplasts, and flagella. Scientists also look at what type of respiration the cell conducts as well as how the cell stores carbohydrates.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Learners should know that there are two main types of cells: prokaryotic and eukaryotic. Learners should also be familiar with the main cell parts and organelles. Learners should be aware of the cell theory and its main tenants.
Course Biology
Type of Tutorial Concept Development
Key Vocabulary animalia, archaebacteria, cell