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Classification of living things is done to organize where various life forms fit into the scheme of things. Carolus Linnaeus, in the 1700's devised a scheme of classification called binomial nomenclature. Essentially, every organism is given a Genus and a Species name. The species is the smallest group an organism can be placed in and it includes other members which are similar and are able to successfully reproduce together. The largest group an organism is placed in is the Kingdom--Plant, Animal, Fungi, Protista and Monera. This five kingdom system was devised by Whittaker, in 1969.These can be subdivided into Phyla, followed by class, order, family, genus and species. In 1977, a six kingdom system was devised by Woese which further divided the Monera(bacteria) into Eubacteria and Archaebacteria. Archaebacteria have a different evolutionary background than Eubacteria so these were made into two separate kingdoms. An example of classifying a human is the following:
Species -H. sapiens
The classification of a chimpanzee is the same except for the genus is Pan and the species is P. troglodytes. This shows that we are both animals, with backbones(Chordates), with hair/fur, give birth to live young(Mammals), which are placed in the Order--the great apes/and humans (Hominidae), in the family Hominini which are gorillas, chimps and humans, but not orangatans which are placed in a different family. However, the genus and species name, which is "who you are exactly" is different. Therefore, although closely related, this is where we differ from the chimps.
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