World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Subclass (biology)

Article Id: WHEBN0000273227
Reproduction Date:

Title: Subclass (biology)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Chondrichthyes, Dicotyledon, Rosidae, Ammonoidea, Mussel, Subclass, Barnacle, Copepod, Metatheria, Lungfish
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Subclass (biology)

Error: Image is invalid or non-existent.

In biological classification, class (Latin: classis) is:

  • a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, order, family, genus, and species, with class fitting between phylum and order. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the prefix sub-: subclass (Latin: subclassis).
  • a taxonomic unit, a taxon, in that rank. In that case the plural is classes (Latin classes)

The composition of each class is determined by a taxonomist. Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists taking different positions. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing a class, but for well-known animals there is likely to be consensus. For example, dogs are usually assigned to the phylum Chordata (animals with notochords); in the class Mammalia; in the order Carnivora.

Hierarchy of ranks

For some clades, a number of alternative classifications are used.

An example from zoology

Name Meaning of prefix Example 1 Example 2 Example 3[1]
Superclass super: above Tetrapoda
Class Mammalia Maxillopoda Sauropsida
Subclass sub: under Thecostraca Avialae
Infraclass infra: below Cirripedia Aves
Parvclass parvus: small, unimportant Neornithes

An example from botany

History of the concept

The class as a distinct rank of biological classification having its own distinctive name (and not just called a top-level genus (genus summum) was first introduced by the French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort in his classification of plants (it appeared in his 1694 Eléments de botanique).

Carolus Linnaeus, in his Systema Naturae (1735, 1st ed.).[2] divided of all three of his kingdoms of Nature (minerals, plants, and animals) into classes. Only in the animal kingdom are Linnaeus's classes similar to the classes used today; his classes and orders of plants, were never intended to represent natural groups, but rather to provide a convenient "artificial key" according to his Systema Sexuale.

Since then the class was considered the highest level of the taxonomic hierarchy until the embranchements, now called Phyla (or divisions) were introduced in the nineteenth century.

See also

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.