Classification and Carl Linnaeus
The early Greeks tried to classify all nonliving objects as fire, air, earth, and water and
the Greek philosopher Aristotle further classified living things as either Plant or
Animal. He grouped animals into Land Dwellers, Water Dwellers, and Air Dwellers.
This didn't work very well, as this system grouped elephants and earthworms, whales
and water striders, flies and falcons. These things aren't alike!
Botanists later tried to classify living creatures
by how they move, grouping butterflies and
bats (flying), barnacles and barley (both fixed
in one place). This system of classification
didn't work out very well, either (bats and
butterflies are pretty different, aren't they?), so
other attempts were made.
The efforts to classify living things saw great
progress in the work of Carl Linnaeus, whose
book Systema Naturae, was published in
While some of his ideas have been
significantly changed, we still keep much of
his ideas today (5 Kingdom classification and
You need to prepare a PPT presentation of three slides to answer these
1. When and where was Carl Linnaeus born?
2. How did Linnaeus group organisms? What grouping system did he come
3. What is a binomial name? What is your binomial name?
4. Do you think it is good to put organisms into groups based on how they
move? Why/Why not?
5. Why is it called a hierarchical system of classification?