Palaeos Palaeos The Linnaean System
Systematics Class



In the Linnaean system (and taxonomic systems based on it), a Class is the taxonomic category between Phylum and Order.  A class is a major group of organisms, e.g. Mammalia, Reptilia, Gastropoda, Insecta, etc that contains a large number of different sublineages, but have shared characteristics in common (e.g. warm-blooded, fur, mammary glands in female in the case of mammals, six legs and three body parts in the case of Insects, etc).  As with all the groupings whether a group of organisms ranks as a class or not is a subjective decision, although usually based on the traditional status of that group in earlier literature.  The cladistic revolution has caused a reappraisal of these rankings, and rejection or modification of many of these rankings.

the Animal kingdom according to Linnaeus
Originally Linnaeus divided the Animal Kingdom into six classes.
Many more have been proposed since then...

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page by M. Alan Kazlev (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License)
page uploaded 20 May 2002 (originally uploaded on Kheper site 13 December 1998)
checked ATW040703, edited RFVS111202
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