When is Cladistics more useful than Linnaean Taxonomy?

What are Taxonomy, Cladistics, and Linnaean Taxonomy? What are the Main Categories of Linnaean Taxonomy? What is the Main Goal of Cladistics and Linnaean? How are Both Classifications Different?

Humans have developed over the years in almost every field. There was a time when treatment was done through natural herbs, but now we have modern techniques and solutions for various health issues, research, and development. Andreas Vesalius was a Belgian physician and anatomist who is considered the father of modern science and anatomy. Today, let’s discuss how is cladistics different from Linnaean taxonomy. When is cladistics more useful than Linnaean taxonomy and what is the main goal of cladistics and Linnaean? So, let’s get started.

1. What is meant by Taxonomy?

The science and practice of classification or categorization, especially hierarchical classification, is known as taxonomy. It organizes organisms into groups or types. The units considered while organizing data are known as taxa (plural) or taxon (singular). (See Oldest living species alive today)

2. What is Cladistics Taxonomy?

A system of classifying extinct and living organisms on the basis of their ancestry evolution is known as cladistics or phylogenetic systematic. It is determined by grouping the taxa according to the derived characteristics. Thus, the derived information gives information about the features and characteristics that are uniquely shared by their common ancestors. (See What does the Word Queue describe in Cell Biology?)

3. What is the Cladistics Classification Terminology?

Cladistics focuses on the characteristics of organisms that directly show their relation with their ancestral states. The biologist Henning developed various scientific terms for describing his approach. The following terms help in describing various groups of organisms in relation to a particular node on a cladogram or phylogenetic tree.

  • Apomorphy is a derived trait that describes a specific clade.
  • An autapomorphy is a derived trait that is only found in only one of the groups that are being compared.
  • Plesiomorphy is an ancestral trait that is passed down and retained from the ancestor species to the descendant species. This happens during the evolution between single or multiple taxa.
  • Synapomorphy is a derived trait that is shared by two or more groups of descended organisms. These organisms have a common ancestor.

Thorough information on these terms is useful before moving towards when is cladistics more useful than Linnaean taxonomy. (See Date of Oldest Fossils)

4. What is a Cladogram?

In biology, a visual representation of the related characteristics in different organisms is known as a cladogram. The grouping is according to certain specific traits. The cladogram shows data at the molecular and micro levels with some relationship. Such a relationship is an evolutionary relationship between various groups of organisms or taxa of either small or large numbers. (See What is the Most Specific or Smallest Level of Classification?)

5. What is Linnaean Taxonomy?

The rank-based classification of organisms is known as Linnaean Taxonomy. It is referred to as the rank-based scientific classification. In terms of names, Linnaean holds two meanings. First, it is the personally formal name given by Linnaeus, like Giraffa camelopardalis Linnaeus, 1758, which is a three-horned giraffe. Second, it is a formal name that is accepted in the nomenclature. Must read Interesting History of Dino Bones.

6. What were the Main Categories in the Linnaean Taxonomy?

As per the records found in the 10th edition of the Imperium Naturae published in 1758, the classification was as among animals, plants, and minerals.

A. Animals:

The basic classification of animals under Linnaean taxonomy was into 6 classes.

  • Class 1 – Mammals (Mammalia)
  • Class 2 – Birds (Aves)
  • Class 3 – Amphibians (Amphibia)
  • Class 4 – Fish (Pisces)
  • Class 5 – Insects (Insecta)
  • Class 6 – Worms (Vermes)

B. Plants:

Before moving ahead to know when is cladistics more useful than Linnaean taxonomy, take a look at the overall categories of plants in different classes as mentioned below:

  • Class 1 – Flowers with 1 stamen, Monandria
  • Class 2 – Flowers with 2 stamens, Diandria
  • Class 3 – Flowers with 3 stamens, Triandria
  • Class 4 – Flowers with 4 stamens, Tetrandria
  • Class 5 – Flowers with 5 stamens, Pentandria
  • Class 6 – Flowers with 6 stamens, Hexandria
  • Class 7 – Flowers with 7 stamens, Heptandria
  • Class 8 – Flowers with 8 stamens, Octandria
  • Class 9 – Flowers with 9 stamens, Enneandria
  • Class 10 – Flowers with 10 stamens, Decandria
  • Class 11 – Flowers with 12 stamens, Dodecandria
  • Class 12 – Flowers with 20 or more stamens, Icosandria
  • Class 13 – Flowers with many stamens, Polyandria
  • Class 14 – Flowers with 4 stamens (2 short and 2 long), Didynamia
  • Class 15 – Flowers with 6 stamens (4 long and 2 short), Tetrasynamia
  • Class 16 – Flowers with separated antlers but united filaments, Monadelphia
  • Class 17 – Flowers with two groups of united stamens, Diadelphia
  • Class 18 – Flowers with several united groups of stamens, Polyadelphia
  • Class 19 – Flowers with 5 stamens and united antlers at the edges, Syngenesia
  • Class 20 – Flowers with united stamens to the pistil, Gynandria
  • Class 21 – Monoecious plants (having both male and female reproductive parts), Monoecia
  • Class 22 – Dioecious plants (either having male or female reproductive part), Dioecia
  • Class 23 – Polygamodioecious plants (plants of the same specie with one plant having male and another plant having female reproductive part), Polygamia
  • Class 24 – Organisms with the appearance of plants but do not have flowers (fungi, algae, etc.) Cryptogamia. You are close to knowing when is cladistics more useful than Linnaean taxonomy.

C. Minerals:

This classification consists of only 5 categories, but these are no longer used. 

  • Class 1 – Rocks (Petrae)
  • Class 2 – Minerals (Minerae)
  • Class 3 – Fossils (Fossillia)
  • Class 4 – Minerals and nutritional value (Vitamentra)

7. What is the Main Goal of Cladistics?

The main objective of cladistics is to organize organisms on the basis of their characteristics. These characteristics can be shared among them or derived from each other. It also takes into consideration the evolutionary ancestry in the process of classification. (See How many Animals are there in the World?)

8. What is the Main Goal of Linnaean?

Under this classification process, plants and animals are divided into broad kingdoms which are further subdivided into phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species. The main purpose of the Linnaean is to use the binomial nomenclature for identifying each species. This method reduces the chance of using the wrong names or common misleading names of different organisms. (See What are Few Examples of Producers Consumers and Decomposers?)

9. When is Cladistics more useful than Linnaean Taxonomy?

The classification of organisms through cladistics is more useful than Linnaean if you are trying to determine the evolutionary relationships among different organisms. It is helpful also because it classifies them on the basis of ancestral traits. (See Why is DNA Replication Critical to the Survival of Organisms?)

10. How is Cladistics different from Linnaean Taxonomy?

Both processes are related to the organization of organisms in particular categories and sub-categories but still, they have the following differences.

  • Nature: In the cladistics type of classification, species are considered to be in the dynamic entity whereas, in Linnaean taxonomy species are the basic unit or are called fixed entities.
  • Term: The Linnaean taxonomy due to its process and categorization is also termed as Old Taxonomy whereas, cladistics is termed as neo systematic or new taxonomy because of its new processes.
  • Features Taken into Account: Morphological changes refer to the changes in the outward appearances of the organisms. The Morphological features are taken into account in the Linnaean taxonomy. In cladistics, biological features are taken into account. Biological features refer to both internal and external features of the organisms. 
  • Type of Relationship: In Linnaean taxonomy, the evolutionary relationship is not included whereas in cladistics, includes the evolutionary relationship or phylogeny of the organisms. The evolutionary relationship describes the relationship of one organism with an ancestral organism with which it is thought to have evolved.
  • Types of Studies: Knowing the differences between the two classifications is important besides knowing when is cladistics more useful than Linnaean taxonomy. Through the Linnaean taxonomy, the preferred studies are on the different species. Cladistics helps in the studies of various sub-species and the overall population of organisms.
  • Basis: The Linnaean taxonomy is based on the P.R Darwin period whereas, the post-Darwin period led to the emergence of cladistics.

Today you got to know when is cladistics more useful than Linnaean taxonomy. Also, the main goal of cladistics and Linnaean were discussed. Did you notice how is cladistics different from Linnaean taxonomy? (See What are Examples of Living Things?)

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