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Chapter 1 – Diversity of Living Organisms

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:

Introduction

Planet Earth is a beautiful amalgamation of various life forms. The diversity of living organisms that we observe in every part of the planet is splendid. From an evolutionary and biological point of view, there are many reasons why and how so many different life forms originated and exist on Earth and its water bodies. Be it the unicellular organisms or the complex multicellular mammals like a man. While the diversity of living organisms is what we tend to see, it is the journey of how these diverse organisms actually have progressively evolved, each one from their predecessor.

The diversity of living organisms is due to many factors like the environments they lived in(habitats), nutrition, genetic makeup, etc. Based on many such factors, living organisms can be broadly grouped into different kingdoms. 

Here is a fun fact: did you know that just 12 countries in the world house over half of the world’s biodiversity?

There have been many scientists who have attempted to classify the various living organisms in the past. Two significant classification systems that are useful to you are:

    • Two Kingdom Classification by Carolus Linnaeus: In this classification system, Carolus Linnaeus classified all living organisms into two broad kingdoms, i.e., Plants and Animals.
    • Five Kingdom Classification by Robert Whittaker: According to Robert Whittaker, the diversity of living organisms was way more and so, he divided all living organisms into five kingdoms, namely:
      • Kingdom Monera
      • Kingdom Protista
      • Kingdom Fungi
      • Kingdom Plantae
      • Kingdom Animalia

The main criteria used by Whittaker for classification of all living organisms into these five kingdoms are–

    • Cell structure
    • Thallus organisation
    • Mode of nutrition
    • Reproduction method
    • Phylogenetic relationships

After classifying living organisms into five kingdoms, Whittaker also gave the taxonomy that these organisms can be further segregated under each kingdom. According to Whittaker, the diversity of living organisms was so varied and complex that there needed to be more classifying levels. Based on this, the hierarchy of Whittaker’s Five Kingdom Classification include:-

  • Kingdom
  • Phylum
  • Class
  • Order
  • Family
  • Genus
  • Species

Each kingdom is phylogenetically linked to the kingdom before it and here are some typical characteristics of each of the five kingdoms.

Kingdom Monera

  • Includes all unicellular prokaryotes. 
  • They lack a true nucleus. 
  • May have or may not have a cell wall.
  • Maybe autotrophic or heterotrophic in nature.
  • A large number of monerans live inside other organisms like parasites.
  • Can survive in a variety of habitats, even extreme ones.

Examples: Bacteria, cyanobacteria, etc.

Kingdom Protista

  • Comprises unicellular eukaryotic organisms but there are no clear boundaries for this kingdom.
  • Many scientists often argue over whether a particular organism is an autotrophic protestant or a plant.
  • Have a well-defined nucleus and other membrane-bound organelles.
  • Reproduce asexually as well as sexually.
  • Can be autotrophic or heterotrophic in nutrition.
  • Have special organs for locomotion like flagella, cilia, etc.

Examples: Chrysophytes, Dinoflagellates, Euglenoids, slime moulds

Kingdom Fungi

  • Organisms in Kingdom Fungi are majorly heterotrophic in their mode of nutrition with a large number of fungi being saprophytic in nature.
  • They are multicellular and eukaryotic.
  • Have a cell wall filled with chitin.
  • Some fungi have a symbiotic relationship with other organisms like blue-green algae.
  • Show sexual as well as asexual modes of reproduction.

Examples: Yeast, Aspergillus, Mycorrhiza, etc.

Kingdom Plantae

  • Are eukaryotic and multicellular.
  • Have a cell wall that is made of cellulose.
  • Are mostly autotrophic and prepare their own food by photosynthesis. However, some heterotrophs do exist.
  • Kingdom Plantae can be further divided into– Thallophytes, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms(non-flowering plants with uncovered seeds), and Angiosperms(Flowering plants with covered seeds).

Examples: Mango tree, apple tree, ferns, pine trees, etc.

Kingdom Animalia

  • It can be characterised by heterotrophic, multicellular eukaryotes.
  • Cells lack a cell wall.
  • Show holozoic nutrition and internal digestion.
  • Store their food in the form of fat or glycogen.
  • Have an organ-system organisation.
  • Show growth and the young ones look different from the adults.
  • Exhibit advanced, elaborate sensory and motor mechanisms.
  • Show locomotion and sexual reproduction is the main way of continuing their species.
  • Kingdom Animalia is further divided into different phylums such as Porifera, Coelenterata, Echinodermata, Chordata, and so on.

Examples: Hydra, Earthworms, reptiles, man, etc.

1. Why is diversity in living organisms important?

The diversity of living organisms helps us understand how organisms have developed, how they are interlinked, and the kind of phylogenetic relationship between closely linked organisms.

2. What is the basis of classification in diversity in living organisms?

Living organisms have been classified based on cell structure, thallus organisation, their mode of nutrition, reproduction, habitats and adaptations, and phylogenetic relationships.

3. What causes diversity in organisms?

Each organism has a different genetic make-up. Their genes undergo mutation when they are subjected to different habitats and environments. It is these genetic and environmental adaptations that bring about diversity in living organisms.

4. What are the advantages of classifying organisms?
There are many advantages of classifying living organisms. These include:

  • Gives us a better understanding of the evolution of different organisms.
  • Makes it easy to study the different organisms.
  • Sheds light on the inter-relations between organisms.
  • Helps scientists, researchers and environmentalists find ways to conserve the diversity of living organisms.

5. What are the disadvantages of classifying organisms?

Few disadvantages of classifying organisms are

  • Each classification system is subjective and is based on the judgements of different scientists who have developed them. They may not appeal to everyone at large
  • There can be a bias in the minds of those classifying

MSVgo helps you learn about the diversity of living organisms interestingly. Gone are the days of learning only with text. Take a newer route and learn with MSVgo’s library of video notes! Not only is it fun but it’s an effective way to grasp concepts. Read more about it on the MSVgo website to learn more and download the app.

The diversity of living organisms is deeply rooted in evolution as all living organisms have evolved from similar ancestors. This theory also proves with the similarities found in that many kingdoms show with their preceding and succeeding kingdoms. Have you ever observed any similarities between animals of different kingdoms? Try finding out!

High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
  • Atoms
  • Communication Systems
  • Current Electricity
  • Dual nature of Radiation and Matter
  • Electric Charges and Fields
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Electron Beams and Radioactivity
  • Electrons and Photons
  • Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance
  • Fluid Pressure
  • Force and Acceleration
  • Force And Laws Of Motion
  • Gravitation
  • Internal Energy
  • Kinetic Theory
  • Law of motion
  • Light – Reflection And Refraction
  • Magnetic Effects Of Electric Current
  • Magnetism and Matter
  • Management Of Natural Resources
  • Mechanical properties of Fluids
  • Mechanical properties of Solids
  • Motion
  • Motion in a plane
  • Motion in a straight line
  • Moving Charges and Magnetism
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Nuclei
  • Oscillations
  • Our Environment
  • Paths of Heat
  • Physical world
  • Ray optics and optical instruments
  • Semiconductor Devices
  • Semiconductor Electronics: Materials, Devices and Simple Circuits
  • Simple Machines
  • Sound
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Specific and Latent Heats
  • Spherical Mirrors
  • Static Electricity
  • Systems of Particles and Rotational motion
  • Thermal properties of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Units and Measurement
  • Vectors, Scalar Quantities and Elementary Calculus
  • Wave Optics
  • Waves
  • Work, Power and Energy

High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
  • Alcohols, Phenols and Ethers
  • Aldehydes, Ketones and Carboxylic Acids
  • Aliphatic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Alkyl and Aryl Halides
  • Amines
  • Analytical Chemistry 
  • Atomic Structure
  • Atoms And Molecules
  • Basic concepts of Chemistry
  • Biomolecules
  • Carbon And Its Compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and Acid Derivatives
  • Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structures
  • Chemical Energetics
  • Chemical Equilibria
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Chemical Reactions And Equations
  • Chemical Reactions and Their Mechanisms
  • Chemistry in Everyday Life
  • Chemistry of p-Block elements
  • Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition
  • Classification of Elements
  • Coordination Compounds
  • Cyanide, Isocyanide, Nitro compounds and Amines
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrolysis
  • Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Equilibrium
  • Ethers and Carbonyl compounds
  • Haloalkanes and Haloarenes
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Hydrogen
  • Ideal solutions
  • Introduction to Organic Chemistry
  • Ionic equilibria
  • Matter
  • Matter Around Us
  • Matter In Our Surroundings
  • Metallurgy
  • Metals And Non-Metals
  • Mole Concept and Stoichiometry
  • Natural Resources
  • Organic Chemistry – Basic Principles
  • Periodic Classification of Elements
  • Physical and Chemical Changes
  • Physical and Chemical Properties of Water
  • Polymers
  • Preparation, Properties and Uses of Compounds
  • Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements
  • Redox Reactions
  • Relative Molecular Mass and Mole
  • States of Matter
  • Structure Of The Atom
  • Study of Compounds
  • Study of Gas Laws
  • Study of Representative Elements
  • Surface Chemistry
  • The d-block and f-block elements
  • The Gaseous State
  • The p-Block Elements
  • The Periodic Table
  • The s-Block Elements
  • The Solid State
  • Thermodynamics

High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
  • Adolescent Issues
  • Anatomy of Flowering Plants
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Bacteria and Fungi-Friends and Foe
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Biofertilizers
  • Biological Classification
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomolecules
  • Biotechnology and its Applications
  • Biotic Community
  • Body Fluids and Circulation
  • Breathing and Exchange of Gases
  • Cell – Unit of Life
  • Cell Cycle and Cell Division
  • Cell Division and Structure of Chromosomes
  • Cell Reproduction
  • Cellular Respiration
  • Chemical Coordination and Integration
  • Circulation
  • Control And Coordination
  • Crop Improvement
  • Digestion and Absorption
  • Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Issues
  • Excretory Products and their Elimination
  • Flowering Plants
  • Genes and Chromosomes
  • Health and Diseases
  • Health and Its Significance
  • Heredity And Evolution
  • Heredity and Variation
  • How Do Organisms Reproduce?
  • Human Diseases
  • Human Eye And Colourful World
  • Human Health and Disease
  • Human Population
  • Human Reproduction
  • Hygiene
  • Improvement In Food Resources
  • Integumentary System- Skin
  • Kingdom Fungi
  • Kingdom Monera
  • Kingdom Protista
  • Life Processes
  • Locomotion and Movement
  • Microbes in Human Welfare
  • Mineral Nutrition
  • Molecular Basis of Inheritance
  • Morphology of Flowering Plants
  • Neural Control And Coordination
  • Nutrition in Human Beings
  • Organism and Population
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis in Higher Plants
  • Plant Growth and Development
  • Plant Kingdom
  • Pollination and Fertilization
  • Pollution; Sources and its effects
  • Principles of Inheritance and Variation
  • Reproduction and Development in Angiosperms
  • Reproduction in Organisms
  • Reproductive Health
  • Respiration in Human Beings
  • Respiration in Plants
  • Respiratory System
  • Sexual Reproduction in Flowering Plants
  • Strategies for Enhancement in Food Production
  • Structural Organisation in Animals
  • Structural Organisation of the Cell
  • The Endocrine System
  • The Fundamental Unit Of Life
  • The Living World
  • The Nervous System and Sense Organs
  • Tissues
  • Transpiration
  • Transport in Plants

High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
  • Algebra – Complex Numbers and Quadratic Equations
  • Algebra – Linear Inequalities
  • Algebra – Pair of Linear Equations in Two Variables
  • Algebra – Polynomials
  • Algebra – Principle of Mathematical Induction
  • Algebra – Quadratic Equations
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
  • Calculus – Applications of the Integrals
  • Calculus – Continuity and Differentiability
  • Calculus – Differential Equations
  • Calculus – Integrals
  • Geometry – Area
  • Geometry – Circles
  • Geometry – Conic Sections
  • Geometry – Constructions
  • Geometry – Introduction to Euclid’s Geometry
  • Geometry – Three-dimensional Geometry
  • Geometry – Lines and Angles
  • Geometry – Quadrilaterals
  • Geometry – Straight Lines
  • Geometry – Triangles
  • Linear Programming
  • Matrices and Determinants
  • Mensuration – Areas
  • Mensuration – Surface Areas and Volumes
  • Number Systems
  • Number Systems – Real Numbers
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Probability
  • Sequence and Series
  • Sets and Functions
  • Statistics 
  • Trignometry – Height and Distance
  • Trignometry – Identities
  • Trignometry – Introduction

Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
  • Air and Its Constituents
  • Basic Biology
  • Body Movements
  • Carbon and Its Compounds
  • Cell – Structure And Functions
  • Changes Around Us
  • Chemical Effects Of Electric Current
  • Chemistry in Your Life
  • Coal And Petroleum
  • Combustion And Flame
  • Components Of Food
  • Conservation Of Plants And Animals
  • Crop Production And Management
  • Electric Current And Its Effects
  • Electricity And Circuits
  • Elements and Compounds
  • Fibre To Fabric
  • Food production and management
  • Force And Pressure
  • Forests: Our Lifeline
  • Friction
  • Fun With Magnets
  • Garbage In, Garbage Out
  • Getting To Know Plants
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen
  • Life Processes: Nutrition in Animals and Plants
  • Light, Shadows And Reflections
  • Materials: Metals And Non-Metals
  • Matter and Its States
  • Metals and Non-metals
  • Micro Organisms: Friend And Foe
  • Motion And Measurement Of Distances
  • Motion And Time
  • Nutrition In Animals
  • Nutrition In Plants
  • Organization in Living Things
  • Our Environment
  • Physical And Chemical Changes
  • Pollution and conservation
  • Pollution Of Air And Water
  • Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Reproduction In Animals
  • Reproduction In Plants
  • Respiration In Organisms
  • Rocks and Minerals
  • Separation Of Substances
  • Simple Machines
  • Soil
  • Some Natural Phenomena
  • Sorting Materials Into Groups
  • Sound
  • Stars And The Solar System
  • Structure of Atom
  • Synthetic Fibers And Plastics
  • The Living Organisms And Their Surroundings
  • Transfer of Heat
  • Transformation of Substances
  • Transportation In Animals And Plants
  • Universe
  • Waste-water Story
  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
  • Measurement
  • Money
  • Multiplication and Factors
  • Multiply and Divide
  • Numbers
  • Parts and Wholes
  • Pattern Recognition
  • Patterns
  • Play With Patterns
  • Rupees And Paise
  • Shapes And Angles
  • Shapes And Designs
  • Shapes and Space
  • Similarity
  • Smart Charts
  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
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