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6 Kingdoms of Life

Six Classification Kingdoms
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Middle School Math and Science

Classifying Life into Six Kingdoms

There is a wide variety of life on Earth ranging from single cell organisms to whales that are the size of a football field. Scientists have developed six kingdoms in order to classify every living organism on Earth. The six kingdoms are,
  • Bacteria,
  • Archaebacteria,
  • Plantae,
  • Protista,
  • Fungi,  
  • Animalia.

Here is a summary of each kingdom.
Bacteria and Archaebacteria
For many years the kingdom monera was used to classify bacteria. Recently, kingdom monera has been divided into two kingdoms, bacteria, and archaebacteria.
The kingdom monera consists entirely of single cell organisms. Members of this kingdom are found almost everywhere on earth. They are found in hot springs,cow's stomach, and almost every surface on earth.

All members of this kingdom do not have a nucleus or membrane bound organelles. Therefore they are classified as prokaryotes.
They do have a cell wall, genetic material, cytoplasm, and ribosomes.
Bacteria get their energy in many different methods.
Some get energy from the sun,others get energy from chemicals like CO2, while others break down organic material

This kingdom is divided into two groups.
Archaebacteria and bacteria
Archaebacteria is found in extreme environments.
For instance some live in the stomach of a cow, hot springs, the dead sea, and swamps or marshes.
They have a different type of cell wall than bacteria and are antibiotic resistant.

Bacteria are found almost everywhere.
They are very important to all life forms on earth.
Although some cause disease, most are very helpful to us.
They break down food in our stomach, help the nitrogen cycle, and even help make some of our food like sauerkraut.
We could not survive without bacteria.
Bacteria can be classified by their shape.
  • Coccus has a sphere shape
  • Spirillum have a spiral shape
  • Bacillus have a rod shape.

Most members of monera kingdom reproduce asexually in a process called binary fission, but some reproduce sexually in a process called conjugation.
kingdom fungi
Kingdom Fungi
The kingdom fungi are made up of mushrooms,molds,yeast, and lichens

Fungi are very important to life on earth and many works with plants in a symbiotic relationship.
The following are some basic fungi traits.

1) Fungi have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles so they are considered eukaryotic.

2)Most Fungi are heterotrophs and get their energy from other organisms.

3) Most are multicellular, but yeast is unicellular.

4) Fungi cannot move about.

Fungi may look like plants but they are not plants and are different than plants in several ways.
Almost all Fungi do not have chlorophyll so they cannot practice photosynthesis.
They reproduce by spores, not seeds
Many fungi have cell walls made of chitin instead of cellulose like plants. 
Molds have cell walls of cellulose.

Many Fungi break down decaying matter and absorb nutrients using a network of fibers called hyphae.
Hyphae are tubelike structures that grow and cover a food source which allows them to digest and absorb nutrients.
Many fungi like mushrooms have a visible fruit which is easily seen, and a mass of hyphae called a mycelium that most likely hidden from view.

There are four main types of Fungi
Zygomycota many of these fungi are molds. 
They produce spores on the tips of their hyphae.
A common example is bread mold.

Basidiomycota (club fungi) have a dome-shaped part where reproductive spores are produced. 
Common examples are mushrooms.

Ascomycota (sac fungi) These fungi produce reproductive spores in a sac-like structure.
Common examples include yeast, mildew, and lichens

Deuteromycota (Imperfect fungi) – This group is like your junk drawer of fungi. The fungi that don’t really fit anywhere else go here. However, each of these fungi reproduces asexually.
Athlete's foot is an example.

Fungi can reproduce sexually and asexually.
kingdom euglena
Kingdom Protists
The kingdom Protista is one of the five major kingdoms. This kingdom is kinda the junk drawer kingdom because many of the organisms in this kingdom just don’t fit anywhere else.

Most are aquatic but not all of them.
They are all eukaryotic, but they can reproduce sexually and asexually.
Some are heterotrophs, but some are autotrophs.
Some are decomposers and others are parasites.
There are several major groups of protists.

First, some are classified as animal-like. These heterotrophs can be parasites,predators, and some are classified by how they move.
Sarcodines move by using a pseudopod . A common example is an ameba.

Mastigophorans move using a flagellum. Giardia is an example of mastigophorans.
Ciliates move with hairlike structures.
Take a look at the ameba move using a pseudopod and the paramecium move using cilia

Plant like protist practices photosynthesis. They don’t have roots or leaves.
One common example is algae. Some algae are unicellular but kelp is an alga and is a very large.

Other plant-like protists include euglenoids which move with flagella,plankton, and diatoms which look like glass.
Finally, some protists are fungus-like. These protists are decomposers.
Common examples are slime molds and water molds.
kingdom animalia
Kingdom Plants
The plant kingdom is made up of multicellular, eukaryotic organism that gets their energy from the sun. They are producers and make up the bottom part of an energy pyramid.

Let’s discuss a couple of traits all plants have in common.
The cells of plants have a cell wall made of cellulose.
The cell wall provides protection and shape.
Plant cells also have a large central vacuole 
Plants also have chloroplasts that contain chlorophyll that is used to produce glucose.
Plants use carbon dioxide plus water with sunlight to create glucose and oxygen in a process called photosynthesis.

There is a very wide range of plants.
There are roughly 500,000 species of plants on earth.
Two major categories are vascular and nonvascular
Vascular plants have vascular tissue that allows them to grow larger in size.
There are two types of vascular tissue. 
Xylem which transports water and phloem which transports sugar throughout the plant.
This allows some vascular plants to grow very large.

Nonvascular plants move water by osmosis. This limits the size of nonvascular plants. A very common example would be moss.
You can also classify plants into plants with flowers and plants that do not have flowers.
Angiosperms are plants that have flowers. 
They contain a carpel with a stigma style and ovary
Most vegetables and fruits we like to eat are angiosperms

Gymnosperms do not flower and rely on airborne pollen to reproduce.
Many trees like pine and fir trees are gymnosperms.
animal kingdom
Kingdom Animalia
The kingdom Animalia is made up of many of the organisms we encounter daily. Your pet dog belongs to this kingdom, along with fish,cats, and humans.
There is a wide range of variety in this kingdom, but animals have these common traits.
All animals are eukaryotes which mean the have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.
All multicellular
All are heterotrophs
No cell wall

Two major categories. Vertebrates and Invertebrates

Vertebrates which have a backbone and invertebrates that do not.
Invertebrates do not have a backbone or spine.
They include your sponges, cnidarians,several types of worms, mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms starfish,sea cucumber,sea urchins
Most of the animals on earth are invertebrates.

Vertebrates have a backbone. Examples include,
Lancelets,lampreys,several types of fish,amphibians,reptiles,birds, and mammals.

Animals are found on every continent and have adaptations that help them survive.