Author's note: these pages were written some years ago. I am not planning to update them. For a more current coverage, see the link to palaeos com Palaeos website (to which many links on these pages point to anyway. More info here


In the Linnean system (and taxonomic systems based on it), a Class is the taxonomic category between Phylum and Order.  A class is a major group of organisms, e.g. link to palaeos com Mammalia, Wikipedia link Reptilia, Gastropoda, Insecta, etc that contains a large number of different sublineages, but have shared characteristics in common (e.g. warm-blooded, fur, mammary galands in female in the case of mammals, six legs and three body parts in the case of Insects, etc).  As with all the groupings whether a group of organisms ranks as a class or not is a subjective decision, although usually based on the traditional status of that group in earlier literature.  The cladistic revolution has caused a reappraisal of these rankings, and rejecton or modification of many of these rankings.

the Animal kingdom according to Linneus
Originally Linneus divided the Wikipedia link Animal Kingdom into six classes.
Many more have been proposed since then

Page History

page uploaded 13 December
modified 27 May 1999