We share this planet with a vast array of amazingly different organisms. Sorting them out into groups - why? Well, first of all, human beings like order - they like things to be sorted out. Next, as we do this we see our place in all this plethora of life and also learn so much more about the organisms around us. It was a Swedish scientist, Carl Linnaeus, who started this process off a couple of centuries back. To start off with, each organism is sorted into its big KINGDOM, like Animals or Plants. Then, within that Kingdom it's sorted into its PHYLUM, like Vertebrates, and so on down through smaller and smaller groups until you end up with just one type of organism - that's a SPECIES. We call this process CLASSIFICATION and it works for anything: cars, steam locomotives, road systems and so on.
The diagram shows the five kingdoms with some sample organisms:
The animal kingdom is divided into two groups. Vertebrates (with a backbone) and Invertebrates (without a backbone). The diagram below shows further grouping and examples of vertebrates and invertebrates. It is really important that you remember the characteristics of all groups, especially all the vertebrate groups. You will be asked, in tests, to identify what group organisms belong to. The second diagram shows the characteristics of plant groups.
Arthropods from the invertebrates are even further classified into more groups. The diagram above shows four further groups of arthropods.