We can look at the organization of living things as a pyramid with seven major levels.
Here’s a silly way to remember the organization categories:
Kangaroos Play Cellos, Orangutans Fiddle, Gorillas Sing
As you learn about different animals, you can use these categories to figure out their classification. Let’s look at the Ring-tailed Lemur!
Do you remember the first category?
The Ring-Tailed Lemur belongs to the ANIMAL Kingdom.
(He isn’t like a plant – he cannot create energy from light and minerals.)
The next category is PHYLUM.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur belongs to the CHORDATE Phylum.
(He has a backbone.)
CLASS is the next category.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur belongs to the MAMMAL Class.
(Lemurs feed their babies milk and have fur.)
The next category is ORDER.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur belongs to the PRIMATE Order.
(Characteristics of the Primate Order include a thumb separated from other digits and brain structured for higher reliance on sight and eye-hand coordination.)
FAMILY is the next category.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur belongs to the LEMURIDAE Family.
(The Lemuridae Family are those with a smaller brain, a tail, a slightly longer nose, and special dental features.)
The next category is GENUS.
The Ring-Tailed Lemur belongs to the LEMUR Genus.
(The members of the Lemur Genus share characteristics like vocalizations, body shape, and social structures.)
And finally, the SPECIES category. RING-TAILED LEMUR
(This is the grouping of those with the same general genetic information.)