To talk about the 5 kingdoms of nature is to talk about every creature that exists on Earth. The organisms of our planet are grouped according to shared characteristics. The first classification to place the species in one of the three taxa, archaeels, bacteria and eukaryotes, is the domain. There are those before the domain contemplate the term “life” to corroborate that it is an organism with the capacity to be born, grow, metabolize, reproduce and die, among other issues. After life and dominion the kingdom continues.
You may think it’s very easy to differentiate an animal from a plant, but in some cases, like microscopic organisms, the task can be more arduous. Therefore, in this BIOenciclopedia article we will talk about the 5 kingdoms of nature and its characteristics.
What are the kingdoms of nature
Great figures in the history of humanity such as Aristotle, Carlos Linneo, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Ernst Haeckel, among others, devoted many years to the classification of non-human forms of life that were known at the time, which led to the consideration of two unique kingdoms: animal and vegetable.
Aristotle classified the animal species already recognized in his work “History of the Animals,” while his disciple Theophrasto devoted himself to the classification of plants. From there, Carlos Linnao consolidated Animalia and Vegetabilia as kingdoms of nature and was the creator of the most basic taxonomic classifications with Class, Order, Gender and Species. However, it included minerals as a third kingdom, which was later ruled out.
Ernst Haeckel proposed Animalia, Plantae and Protist as kingdoms and so many others reduced it to two (procariots and eukaryotes) There were also those who contemplated four, six and up to seven kingdoms. However, modern studies have taken into account some of these classifications, but as derivatives of a type of kingdom, it leaves it today with five kingdoms of nature.
In the Animals kingdom are the animals, the most numerous organisms on Earth, which also includes the Huamnos. Animal taxonomy usually includes the following categories:
Some animals like humans can have many more categories. Specifically, in the taxonomy of Homo sapiens is found Subreino, Subfilo, Superfilo, Infrafilo, Superclass, Infraclase, Infraclase, Infraorden, Parvorden, Superfamily, Tribute and Subtribu.
Specifically, Animalia’s subreinos are the following:
- Eumetazoa : are called eumetazoos, they are characterized by having real tissues organized in germ layers, as well as the presence of neurons and an embryo that goes through a gastrul stage, that is, an early stage in embryonic development.
- Parazoa : stands out for their lack of tissues themselves, also called connectives, so they have no muscles, nerves and internal organs. This totally describes the sponges.
In the kingdom of Animalia, at least 30 edges and two large groups separated by their body plan are recognized: vertebrates and invertebrates, the latter being the latter of the most abundant populations. Insects are the most numerous types of invertebrate animals in the world, mainly represented by ants, which could add up to 100,000 billion worldwide.
The Plant Kingdom includes vascular and non-vascular plants. This includes mosses, livers, antoceros (from Anthocerotophyta), licopods, equisetaceae, ferns, sperm, gymnasperms and angiosperms. In the taxonomy of the plants there are supervisions and divisions that are grouped according to the characteristics, which contains everything from small mosses to huge trees such as sequoias.
Despite this wide variety, the plants, without exception, are multicellular and eukaryotes. Scientific research shows that plants evolved from aquatic ancestors that gradually migrated to the entire Earth’s surface, inhabiting multiple biomes of different altitudes, temperatures and geological compositions.
The representatives of this kingdom play a vital role in the maintenance and development of life on the planet, as they use the energy of the Sun to transform it into organic chemical energy through photosynthesis. However, not all plants perform photosynthesis, such as Gastrodia kuroshimensis found in Asia.
The Fungi kingdom groups fungi and microorganisms such as yeasts and molds. The fungi are heterotrophs and acquire their food by absorbing dissolved molecules. Specifically, they differ from members of different realms because they have an exclusive cell wall, with combination of glucans and chitin, elements that are also found in plants and animals but separately and in other parts of their structure.
Fungi organisms are the main decomposers of ecological systems, which brings many benefits. Some live in the soil, others in water and another percentage forms parasitic or symbiotic relationships with plants or animals.
The Fungi kingdom 99,000 includes known species, although scientists believe there can be a total of about 1.5 million worldwide. Among the known figure, more than 70 types of bioluminescent fungi have already been recorded, including the Panellus stipticus and the Mycena chlorophos.
This kingdom is related to leafy forests, but yeasts can be in our kitchen and molds form in food when they break down.
The kingdom Monera includes all bacteria, archaebacteria and cyanobacteria, formerly called green algae. These should not be confused with the green algae considered from the Plantae kingdom. The members of Monera have a procariota organization, as they lack a differentiated cell nucleus through a membrane, as well as other internal structures.
The organisms belonging to the Monera kingdom live in almost all the environments of the Earth, such as marine depths, depths and earthly surfaces, and even in the digestive tracts of human beings, but not all are harmful.
Some researchers agree that bacteria such as Lactobacillus casei enhance the proper functioning of the system. Scientists have no doubt that the bacteria have been responsible for creating life on Earth, as they are believed to have been present at least three quarters of the world’s history, adapting to the vast majority of ecological habitats.
Recently, a group of bacteria that could live under the ice of an Antarctic lake has been discovered, in conditions of -13 degrees Celsius and in waters with high concentrations of salt, sulphur, ammonia and nitrous oxide, as well as lack of light and oxygen.
In the Protist kingdom gather all those eukaryote organisms that cannot be located in any other Eukari kingdom. Some are single-celled, others multicellular and a few more syncytial, i.e. they have a cell with several nuclei resulting from the fusion of several cells.
One of the most striking characteristics of the organisms of the Protist kingdom is the presence of scourges, also present in bacteria, that serve as a boost for movement. A smaller number of protists use psedophipods, also used in phagtropic feeding and locomotion.
These organisms can manifest as filaments, colonies or cenobibias and are not all microscopic. For example, brown or ugly algae can reach up to 60 m in length and are part of this classification. On the contrary, the average measures of protists range from 1 m, one micrometer, equivalent to 0.001 mm, to 3 mm.