Explain why each of the following characteristics of a classification system is important:
1) It assigns a single, universally accepted name to each organism.
2) It places organisms into groups that are biologically related.
3) It divides organisms into small groups.
Classification systems are developed to ensure easy sharing of knowledge and to avoid any confusion among the users. The classification systems should have the following characteristics:
- Single, universally accepted name for each organism: Multiple names of the same organism may cause confusion among researchers. Generally, an organism may be known by different names in different regions of a country or the world. Lack of a single, universally accepted name would mean people using local/regional names, thus causing confusion amongst themselves.
- Placement of organisms into biologically similar groups: There has to be a reason why organisms would be grouped together. The easiest method is to place them into biologically similar groups. For example, cats, tigers, etc. are classified as part of the same family (Felidae) because of biological similarities.
- Division of organisms into smaller groups: Organisms have to be further subdivided into smaller groups according to their characteristics. This helps in classification and focuses on characteristics. For example, even though the Felidae family consists of all the cats, they are further divided into Pantherinae (consists of tiger, jaguar, lion, leopard, etc.) and Felinae (non-pantherinae cats including domestic cats, etc.).
Hope this helps.