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Biodiversity : The Variety of Life on Earth Index

Biodiversity
Collecting, Describing and Classifying
How Biologists Classify Species : Similarities and Differences
Putting Things into Groups

Topic Chapters Index

 

The images hyperlink to more information about each group

Bacteria Kingdom

Bacteria icon

Bacteria

Protoctista Kingdom

Protoctista icon

Protoctista

Fungi Kingdom

Fungi icon

Fungi

 

The Animal Kingdom

Vertebrate Groups

Lionfish icon

Fish

Frog icon (photo by Paul Billiet)

Amphibians

Snake icon

Reptiles

Falcon icon

Birds

Lion icon

Mammals

 

Invertebrate Groups

Medusa icon

Jellyfish

Sea slug icon (photo by Paul Billiet)

Molluscs

Starfish icon

Starfish

Earthworm icon

Worms

 

Arthropods

Swimming crab icon

Crustaceans

Beetle icon (photo by Paul Billiet)

Insects

Giant millipede icon

Myriapods

Tarantula icon

Spiders

 

BIODIVERSITY : PUTTING THINGS INTO GROUPS

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The Plant Kingdom

The plant kingdom is divided into four phyla : the Moss and Liverwort Phylum, the Fern Phylum, the Conifer Phylum and the Flowering Plant Phylum.

 

Moss and Liverwort Phylum: Bog moss or Sphagnum moss

Bog mosses are always found where there is plenty of water which is mildly acidic. The bog moss grows to about 20 cm producing simple leaves. As the plant grows taller it dies at the bottom and eventually turns in a material called peat. Bog mosses are exceptional in the amount of water they absorb. Dry bog moss can absorb 20 times its own weight in water.

 

Moss, Derbyshire, Uk © Shirley Burchill

 

Fern Phylum: The common polypod

This plant is often found growing on walls and tree trunks where it can catch more light. The polypod prefers soils which are acidic. New leaves grow in May and reach 10 to 40 cm in length. The plant stores food in an underground root called a rhizome which helps it to pass through the winter. The spore cases ripen on the leaves during the autumn.

 

 

Common polypod © Paul Billiet

 

Conifer Phylum: The Scots pine

This tree originates from Europe and across to the middle of Siberia. Its wood is used for building and making paper so it has been planted in forestry plantations all over the world. Young Scots pine can grow very quickly up to 1 meter per year and, if they are not cut down the adult trees can live for up to 400 years.

 

Scot's Pine

Scot's Pine Pinus sylvestris
by Bruce Mcadam via Wikimedia Commons

 

Flowering Plant Phylum: The buttercup

Buttercups are common plants of fields and meadows. They prefer open places where there is plenty of light. They also grow well in moist conditions. Buttercups flower during the months of May and June. The bright yellow flowers attract insects to transport pollen from flower to flower. As a reward the insects find nectar in a nectary at the base of each petal.

 

Buttercups © Shirley Burchill

 

 

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