KINGDOMS OF LIVING THINGS
IN THE LINNAEAN CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
 

KINGDOM STRUCTURAL
ORGANIZATION
METHOD OF
NUTRITION
TYPES OF
ORGANISMS
NAMED
SPECIES
  TOTAL
SPECIES
(estimate)





 
  Monera small, simple single prokaryotic cell (nucleus is not enclosed by a membrane); some form chains or mats absorb food and/or photosynthesize bacteria, blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), and spirochetes    4,000   1,000,000
     
  Protista large, single eukaryotic cell (nucleus is enclosed by a membrane); some form chains or colonies absorb, ingest, and/or photosynthesize food protozoans and algae of various types   80,000     600,000
     
  Fungi multicellular filamentous form with specialized eukaryotic cells absorb food funguses, molds, mushrooms, yeasts, mildews, and smuts  72,000   1,500,000
     
  Plantae multicellular form with specialized eukaryotic cells; do not have their own means of locomotion photosynthesize food mosses, ferns, woody and non-woody flowering plants 270,000      320,000
     
  Animalia multicellular form with specialized eukaryotic cells; have their own means of locomotion ingest food sponges, worms, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals 1,326,239   9,812,298

NOTE:  A growing number of researchers now either divide the Monera into two distinct kingdoms: Eubacteria (the true bacteria) and Archaebacteria (bacteria-like organisms that live in extremely harsh anaerobic environments such as hot springs, deep ocean volcanic vents, sewage treatment plants, and swamp sediments) or define 3 domains of living things: Archaeo (archaeobacteria), Bacteria (all other bacteria, blue-green algae, and spirochetes), and Eukarya (organisms with distinct nuclei in their cells--protozoans, fungi, plants, and animals).  Domains are a level of classification above kingdoms.  Viruses, prions, and other non-cellular organic entities are not included in the domains and kingdoms of living things.
The numbers of named and estimated total species were derived from Gibbs, W. Wayt (2001) "On the Termination of Species", Scientific American Vol. 285, No. 5.
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Copyright 1998-2012 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.