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Three Domains - Kingdoms Slideshow

Photo samples from each of the five kingdoms

The five traditional kingdoms included Monera that were the prokaryotic organisms. As more evidence about species has been uncovered, Monera became two separate domains (Bacteria and Archaea). The third domain includes the four eukaryote kingdoms of protists, plants, fungi, and animals.

If you look at the image above, you will see examples of species from each kingdom. Moving from left to right we have the prokaryotes, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia. You are from the kingdom Animalia and are classified as a placental mammal.

Organisms are classified into a kingdom because of observed physical and genetic characteristics. Some species are easy to classify such as a lion or an alligator. Other species such as some plants or fungi are more difficult to classify. Small prokaryotes are even harder to classify. If you go on to study fungi in college, don't be surprised if some of the species are reclassified before you get to college.

Every species from all of the kingdoms plays a role in the ecosystems of the Earth. Single celled organisms can be found in ponds digesting small molecules. Fungi might be on a forest floor breaking down dead trees. The purpose of plants and animals is a bit more obvious. We just want to make the point that every species on Earth plays a role and has a place.

Image Credits: CDC (Bacteria), Andrew Rader Studios

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