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Organism Classification How are organisms classified?
Most biologists are using the Linnaean hierarchical system for classifying organisms, but some biologists are now favoring the PhyloCode system (www.ohiou.edu/phylocode). We use the Linnaean system in this Website because people continue to use it widely.
Many biologists currently divide life into the three domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya (defined in Barrows 2001).
Notes About Names. The BDWA capitalizes formal common names (for example,
American Robin, Common Milkweed, False Honey Ant, Post Oak, and Virginia
Pine). The Website, does not capitalize informal common names (for
example, ant, beetle, fly, and oak). The BDWA uses a hyphenation
convention to help designate an organism's true taxonomy. For example, if
a plant is a true honeysuckle (genus Lonicera ), we write it as two words:
Japanese Honeysuckle. If a plant is not a true honeysuckle (being some
other genus besides Lonicera) we indicate this with a hyphen:
Swamp-honeysuckle. A species is designated as "sp." (plural spp.). and a
cultivar is designated as "cv." (plural cvs.).
Animal groups, for example, are classified as follows.
* indicates main taxonic levels.
phylum* (plural phyla)
genus* (plural genera)
species* (plural species)
geographical race (synonym race, subspecies)
Barrows (2001) includes much more information on this subject.