Classification Systems

  • Period: 384 BCE to 322 BCE


    Aristotle was a Greek Scientist and became one of the first Scientists to organise living things and eventually developed the first classification system. He developed 2 major groups which were Plants and Animals, both containing 3 subgroups.
    +Animal: Land, Water, Air
    +Plant: Small, Medium, Large
  • Period: 1524 to


    Cesalpino was an Italian Physician who created one of the first systems for classifying Plants since Aristotle. His sysrem was based on the plats structure and seeds which subsequently influenced scientists eg. Linneus
  • Period: 1550 to

    Light Microscope

    The invention of the Light Microscope in the late 1500's led to the discovery of cells. The realization that all living things were made up of cells led to the idea that a classification system branching from all organisms with common cells.
  • Period: to


    Ray was an English Naturalist and became the first person to divide flowering plants into monocots and dicots.
  • Period: to


    Linneus was a Swedish Biologist who classified organisms according to their traits.He has Plants and Animals as 2 different kingdomes followed by 5 different levels: Class, Order, Genus, Species, Variety.
    He also developed the Binomial Naming System consisting of the Genus and Species.
  • Period: to


    Haeckel was a German naturalist who developed the 3 Kingdom Classification system consisting of Animalia, Plantae and Protista.
  • Phase Contrast Microscope

    The Phase Contrast Microscope was invented in 1938 and enabled the study of living, unstained organisms. This allowed Scientists to observe organisms without destroying them, also allowing their characteristics/movements/structure to be observed.
  • Carbon-14 Dating

    Carbon-14 Dating was discovered in 1947 and has since helped change the way we classify organisms. Carbon-14 Dating uses the rate of decay of Carbon to estimate the age of young fossils. This allows the classification of fossils age and leads to new discoveries depending on their time frame.
  • Period: to

    Electron Microscope

    The electron microscope led to the discovery of prokaryotic cells in the 1950's which demonstrated that not all organisms have the same cells which led to the development of the separate kingdom, Monera.
  • Electron Microscope

    The Electron Microscope also led to the discovery of separate multi-cellular Eukaryotic kingdom.
  • Whittaker

    Whittaker was an American plant Biologist who developed the 5 Kindgdoms classification which included Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Prostista and Monera.
  • Woese

    Woese was an American microbiologist and biophysicist who established a 3 Domain Classification system including Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryota.
  • Period: to


    Woese also added to the classification system in the 1990's by developing 6 kingdoms within the classification system which included Bacteria, Archea, Protista, Plantea, Fungi and Animalia.
  • Period: to

    DNA/Amino Acid Sequencing

    The development of DNA and Amino Acid sequencing resulted in the discovery of new relationships between organisms and a comparison of differences reflects the degree of difference. This caused organisms place on the classification system to often be reviewed, as with the system.