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Kingdoms - Slideshow

Planet Earth from Space

Why would we start a slideshow about kingdoms with an image of the Earth? We want you to realize that the Earth is the only place that has known life. We're not even talking about aliens. Neither microscopic organisms nor complex molecules have been discovered on another planet or moon (or dwarf planet). Our planet is very special and unique.

The living organisms of Earth are broken down into two large groupings. You will hear about the prokaryotes (cells without a nucleus) and eukaryotes (cells with a nucleus). This original domain breakdown was even larger than kingdoms. Most of the kingdoms we discuss will be in the domain Eukarya.

While originally broken into two domains, scientists now use a three-domain system of classification. During the past decade, scientists have broken down the prokaryote domain into Eubacteria (Bacteria), and Archaebacteria (Archea).

Always remember that the current naming and classification system is just a general rule. As we learn more about each species, they might move into new kingdoms. As science gathers more information, it will always adjust. Even with the flaws, the biological system of classification works well. Think about recent events with Pluto. It was classified a planet before there was a definition of a planet or knowledge of other objects larger than Pluto. Astronomers are now downgrading Pluto to the status of 'dwarf planet.' Even though you might not hear about it on the news, new information always leads to changes in science.

Image Credit: NASA

- Biology4Kids: Kingdoms
- Biology4Kids: Species
- Biology4Kids: Microbes
- Biology4Kids: Plants
- Biology4Kids: Invertebrates
- Biology4Kids: Vertebrates

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