Classification of Living Organisms

All living organisms are classified according to how many cells they are made of, how they breed and what they eat. 


There are five main groups:


  • Plants


  • Animals


  • Fungi – mushrooms and moulds


  • Bacteria – single celled organisms like: Escherichia coli and Lactobacillus acidophilus


  • Protista – single celled organisms like algae, amoeba

Classification of living things

Animals - Vertebrates and Invertebrates

Animals are split into two main groups:

Vertebrates are animals with back bones

e.g. Humans, monkey, horse, dog, cat, snake, frog, crocodile, sheep, newt, dolphins, whale, elephant, cow

These are subdivided into five classes: Mammals, Birds, Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians.

Reptiles and amphibians fact sheet
mammals, birds and fish

Invertebrates are animals without back bones.  These are subdivided into nine classes: Annelids, Molluscs, Insects, Roundworms, Arachnids, Echinoderms and Cnidarians.

Inverterbrate fact sheet
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All images sourced from unless otherwise stated