What is Taxonomy?
Taxonomy is the science of naming, describing and classifying organisms and includes all animals, plants and microorganisms around the world. Taxonomists describe species according to morphological, behavioral, genetic and biochemical research. They identify, describe and arrange species into classifications, and discover those that are new to science. To date, taxonomists have named about 1.78 million species of animals, plants and microorganisms, yet the total number of species is unknown and according to some estimates is between 5 - 30 million. The term taxonomy comes from Greek: taxis means arrangement, and nomos means law.
Between taxonomy and systematics
Biological classification is based on the principle of evolutionary history which assumes that every species evolved from another species. This creates a tree with many branches which represents the relationship between the various groups in a taxonomic hierarchy, which we call systematics. Classification occurs at several levels, including kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. Those are further divided into subgroups or supergroups (for example, superfamily, suborder). The determination of names (nomenclature) is subject to the rules and confirmation by the International Commissions on Nomenclature of plants, animals and micro-organisms.