What is Taxonomy?

In the world there are numerous plants and animals of diverse nature. It is not possible for anyone to know about each of them separately. So the organisms (that is the plants and animals) are scientifically arranged into various taxon (plural taxa), based on the similarities and dissimilarities among them. The process. of arranging the organism into various taxa is known as classification. The science of classification is called Taxonomy. There are different basis of classification. The natural or modem classification is more applicable compared to others. Swedish naturalist, Carolus Linnaeus, introduced the rules of modern natural classification.



  1. With the help of classification we can learn scientifically with less labour and time about the plants and animals of the world.’
  2. When the classification of an organism (plant/animal) and the identifying characters of the taxa of that classification are known, we can easily get an idea about the features of that particular organism.
  3. Unfamiliar organism can easily be marked and identified by comparative studies of the similar and dissimilar characteristics. Harmful and beneficial organisms can be identified.

Through comparative studies, particularly of the structural characteristics of any plant or animal, placing that organism under a phylum, class, order, family; genus and species is the object of classification. Species is the unit and lowermost taxonomic category.

Example: Classification of cockroach

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insects

Order: Dictyoptera (in Britain) Orthoptera (in America)

Family: Blattidae

Genus: Periplaneta

Species: P. Americana