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Vocabulary from Chapter 38 of Prentice Hall Biology textbook, Miller-Levine, California edition

Taxonomy

The discipline in which scientists classify organisms and assign each organism a universal, unique name

Binomial nomenclature

The two-word naming system developed by Carolus Linnaeus that is used to assign species scientific names

Genus

A group of closely related species

Taxon

A level of classification in binomial nomenclature

Family

A group of genera that share many characteristics

Order

A broad taxonomic category composed of similar families

Class

A taxonomic category composed of similar orders

Phylum

A taxonomic category composed of classes that contain organisms that share key characteristics

Kingdom

The largest and most inclusive of the taxonomic categories

Phylogeny

The study of evolutionary relationships among organisms

Evolutionary classification

The strategy of grouping organisms together based on their evolutionary history

Derived characters

Characteristics that appear in recent parts of a lineage but not in its older members

Molecular clock

A model that uses DNA comparisons to estimate the length of time that two species have been evolving independently

Domain

A move inclusive category than kingdom that was created due to molecular analyses and is recognized by many scientists

Bacteria

A domain whose members are unicellular and prokaryotic, have cell walls, and may need or be killed by oxygen

Eubacteria

The kingdom that corresponds to the domain Bacteria

Archaea

A domain whose members are unicellular and prokaryotic and whose cell membranes contain unusual lipids not found in other organisms; they live in extreme environments such as volcanic hot springs, brine pools, and black organic mud

Archaebacterica

The kingdom that corresponds to the domain Archaea

Eukarya

The domain that consists of all organisms that have a nucleus or are made up of cells containing nuclei

Protista

The kingdom in the domain Eukarya that is composed of eukaryotic organisms that cannot be classified as animals, plants, or fungi

Fungi

The kingdom in the domain Eukarya that is composed of multicellular or unicellular heterotrophs, most of which feed on dead or decaying organic matter

Plantae

The kingdom in the domain Eukarya that is composed of multicellular, photosynthetic autotrophs

Animalia

The kingdom in the domain Eukarya that is composed of multicellular, heterotrophic organisms

Cladogram

A diagram that shows the evolutionary relationships among a group of organisms

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