GCSE Biology: Living Organisms

5th April 2017

New GCSE Biology Revision

Living Organisms - what you need to know!


Living organisms can be classified by their characteristics. There are millions of different species on our planet, and in order to make them more easy to identify we use a classification system. This classification system separates species into one of five different kingdoms. The Kingdom’s are decided by what the cells are like and the 5 different kingdoms are split as follows:

  • Animals - multicellular animals

  • Plants - all green plants

  • Fungi - moulds, mushrooms….

  • Prokaryotes - bacteria

  • Protoctists - amoeba


Other classification systems include the following:

  • Vertebrates - these are animals with backbones, including reptiles, mammals and birds

  • Amphibians - they have lungs but they can also absorb oxygen through their skin. They reproduce through external fertilisation. Body temperature varies according to surroundings

  • Reptiles - have lungs and dry scales  and their body temperature varies according their surroundings, just like amphibians

  • Birds - have lungs, feathers and beaks

  • Invertebrates - also known as arthropods, are animals without backbones which include molluscs and arthropods. They are divided into further groups dependent upon how many legs they have

→ 6 legs = insects

→ 8 legs = arachnids

→ 10-14 legs = crustaceans

→ 20+ legs = myriapods

As you can see, the ways we identify different animals/species is quite complex so that we can account for the wonderful variety of what we find around us in our natural environment. To learn more about how to classify living organisms, check out our song living organisms.


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