How would you choose between two characteristics to be used for developing a hierarchy in classification?
For developing a hierarchy of classification, we choose the fundamental characteristic among several other characteristics. For example, plants differ from animals in the absence of locomotion, chloroplasts, cell wall, etc. But, only locomotion is considered as the basic or fundamental feature that is used to distinguish between plants and animals. This is because the absence of locomotion in plants gave rise to many structural changes such as the presence of a cell wall for protection, and the presence of chloroplast for photosynthesis (as they cannot move around in search of food like animals). Thus, all these features are a result of locomotion. Therefore, locomotion is considered to be a fundamental characteristic. By choosing the basic or fundamental characteristic, we can make broad divisions in living organisms as the next level of characteristic is dependent on these. This goes on to form a hierarchy of characteristics.
In the hierarchy of classification, which grouping will have the smallest number of organisms with a maximum of characteristics in common and which will have the largest number of organisms?
- Hierarchy of Categories / Groups