The Five Kingdoms
All living things in the world have been classified or divided into five groups called kingdoms. The living things are classified based on how they are different or how they are the same. The first classification of living things was made by a Greek philosopher named Aristotle. He divided living things into just two groups- plants and animals. From there he placed them into sub-groups such as those that can fly, walk, or swim. Today, with more kingdoms, the classification of the groups has changed. In addition, the kingdoms may change in the future as biologists learn more about the living things in the world.
The five kingdoms currently accepted by scientists throughout the world include Moneran, Protist, Fungi, Plant, and Animal.
The Moneran Kingdom consists of a single cell or unicellular living things. The single cells are simpler and more basic than the cells of the other kingdoms. The cells of the Moneran Kingdom have no nucleus and are missing many of the organelles or parts found in other higher order organisms and cells. The monerans are classified into two other groups called autotrophs and heterotrophs. Autotrophs can create their own food, and heterotrophs cannot make their own food but must rely on the autotrophs. An example of monerans in this kingdom is bacteria. Monerans are the oldest life forms on Earth.
The Protista Kingdom also consists of unicellular or single-celled organisms; however, the cell has a nucleus and are more complex than moneran. Protists appear to be both plant and animal, and some are green and can create their own food like plants. On the other hand, other are like animals and have moving body parts allowing them to move around in their environments. Examples of protists include amoeba, diatoms, euglena, and paramecium.
The Fungi Kingdom is made up of a variety of different fungi, and for a long time, they were thought to be plants. However, fungi are different from plants and are multi-cellular. They cannot make their own food and must rely on other food sources for support. There are also differences in their basic makeup and chemistry of their cells. Common types of fungus are mushrooms, yeast, molds, and several others.
The Plant Kingdom is made up of the common plants seen throughout the world. Nearly all plants are multi-cellular, having more than one cell, and the different types include grass, trees, flowers, and some types of algae. Plants can use the Sun to make their own food through the process of photosynthesis. They get their green color from chlorophyll found inside plant cells which is used to collect energy from the Sun. They use the energy to create food, people, and other animals eat the food, and plants give off oxygen. The Plant Kingdom is vital for the life of nearly all other living things.
Finally, the Animal Kingdom includes all other living things such as worms, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and many, many others. Animals are multi-cellular, and the cells join to form tissues, organs, and organ systems. They help sustain the life of every animal in the world from the smallest bug to the largest whale. Since animals cannot make their own food, they must rely on other living things for survival, such as plants, fungi, or other animals. Without the other four kingdoms, the animals would not survive. There are more species of animals in this kingdom than all other kingdoms combined.
In summary, the five kingdoms include Moneran, Protista, Fungi, Plant, and Animal. Each of the kingdoms has their own characteristics and needs and may be divided into smaller sub-groups by biologists to help classify all living things.
To link to this The Five Kingdoms page, copy the following code to your site: