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Living Things



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All living things, according to some school syllabuses, are either animals or plants.


To the "geniuses" who thought up that scheme, I'd say that either you "break" the definition of plants, or you have to put fungi, bacteria and viruses in under animals... almost as daft. I'm opting for the 5 way split at the top, but, children, remember that the answer the test writer wants is the one that gets the marks.


In 1866, some used "Animals, plants, and the little things" was one scheme in use. But some "little things" are really very "animal-like". Others are clearly plants. Others aren't really either. Then viruses were understood better. (The term was coined by Jenner, of smallpox vaccination fame, and he was doing that around 1800). Then we learned more about what is actually in the DNA of various living things, and life for the taxonomist became more fraught. Now some would even say that "kingdoms" the main divisions, but they remain, sort of. Please don't use all of what's here for university work. As a starting place, it still has it's merits.


The good news is that for macroscopic (big enough to see without a microscope) organisms you'll be okay with what's presented here. And even for the microscopic, you'll have made a good start to understanding the living world. The "things" we discuss here do exist. Some of the microscopic ones are just allocated to different groups today. That means losses from all of the traditional groups, except the viruses, and Wikipedia has a good article on the categories which have been proposed over the years.


Note to authors from "space" (wiki) owner:


Please name each dependent page with a name beginning "lt" (Living Things), followed by a two digit number, followed by what makes sense. The number should be one higher than the number of the page "above" the page you are naming. Thus, the insects page will be lt03insects because it will be just "below" lt02arthropods, itself just below lt01animals. And continue the use of folders which has already been established.


Please do not "dumb down" this resource... it is intended for keen kids wanting more than the basics.


Each page should have a link "up" to it's "parent".

For the time being, at least, please do not add graphics to any pages.


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