Scientific Taxonomy Essay Sample

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Class Mammalia

            Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) and chinchilla rat (Abrocoma boliviensis) belong to this class. Both female species of these mammals care for their young until they are weaned. Both have hair covering their bodies. However, bears are large animals with weights reaching up to 80 to 600 kg while the chinchilla rats only weighed around 225 to 300 grams. The bears live longer than the chinchilla rats, with a life span reaching to 50 years while the latter, on favorable conditions, only live up to 2 years. Furthermore, the chinchilla rats are herbivore (plant eaters), while the brown bears, are omnivores, they eat both plants and primarily meat. As a meat-eater, the brown bear belong to the order Carnivora.  As a meat-eating mammal, the brown bear had strong molar and premolar teeth used to tear and cut the meat.   Species belonging to this order also includes tigers (Panthera tigris) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). The chinchilla rats, on the other hand belong to the order, Rodentia. Animals in this order, had teeth (incisors) used for gnawing food.   Other animals belonging to this order are Andean mouse (Andinomys edax) and Harris’s antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilus harrisii) (Dewey & Ballenger, 2002; Smith &  Lundrigan, 2007).

Class Insecta

     The horse bot fly (Gasterophilus intestinalis) and click beetles (Alaus oculatus) belong to this class. Both insects lay eggs when they reproduce their offspring. However, they differ in where they lay their eggs; the horse bot fly uses an animal host (horse) to lay its eggs while the beetles lay eggs in the soil.   These insects have the same three pairs of   legs. However, they differ in their diets; the horse bot fly feed on the blood of animals and humans while the beetle eats nectar from flowers. Although both have wings, the kind of wings attached to its bodies is not the same.  Because of this difference, they are not classified in the same order, horse bot fly belong to the order Diptera while the beetle belong to the order Coleoptera (Hays, 2001; Frey, 2001). The horse bot fly in only one pair of wings, having a “reduced hind wings, termed halteres” (Hays 2001). For this reason, it is classified in the order Diptera (di for double wings).  The beetle, on the other hand,  fly using its two pair of wings, with first pair of wings being sheathed, hence it belong to the order Coleoptera (sheathed). Examples of insects in the order of Diptera include vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and mosquitoes (Culicidae).Insects belonging to the order Coleoptera includes Hercules beetle (Dynastes Hercules) and scarab beetles (Scarabaeidae) (Hays, 2001; Frey, 2001).

Class Aves (Birds)

      Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and Cooper hawks (Accipiter cooperii) belong to this class. Both have tails with wings covered in feathers but egrets have longer wings while the cooper hawk had shorter rounded wings. Both lay eggs and build nests. However,   the egret has long bills while the cooper hawk has a short yet strong hooked bill. Unlike the egrets that have thinner claws the cooper hawk also had a stout hooked claws to capture its prey. The difference in shape of bills and claws is due largely to its food, egrets major food are insects (spiders, frog, etc) while cooper hawks eat other birds and small mammals.  Moreover, the egret walks on shallow water; hence, it is a wading bird belonging to the order Ciconiiformes. The cooper hawk is a bird of prey active at day and it belongs to the order Falconiformes. Other birds belonging in the order Ciconiiformes are herons and storks while vultures and condors belong to the order Falconiformes (Ivory, 2000;  Dewey & V. Perepelyuk, 2000).

Phylum Echinodermata

            The sea star (Pisaster ochraceous) and feather star (Nemaster rubiginosa ) belong to this class. Both have arms or rays   , however in the case of the sea star it has only   five rays    while the sea lilies had many longer rays projecting out of its body. These rays are known as “tube feet”, side branches that project to the exterior and are connected to inside watery canals of the body. Both used the tube feet to   navigate movement and to hold on to preys or rocks. Both have endoskeleton and simple nervous system that transmits impulses from the arms to the central body.  They have different body shapes and location of mouth however; the sea star has a central disc with mouth located at the center of the lower surface of the disc while the sea lily had calyx, cup-shaped central part with a mouth above it. Sea star belongs to the order   Forcipulatida because of the presence of jaw-like appendage (pedicellaria) while the feather star belong to the order Comatulida because its projections look like feathers. Other examples of a Forcipulatida are sunflower star (Pycnopodia helianthoides) and sea star (pisaster giganteus) while those belonging to order Comatulida are black and white sea lily    ( tropiometra carinata) and antedon bifida (Ramirez, 2000; Kellogg & Fautin, 2001 ).


Dewey, T. and L. Ballenger. 2002. “Ursus arctos” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved March 07, 2008 from

Dewey, T. and V. Perepelyuk. 2000. “Accipiter cooperii” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved March 07, 2008 from

Frey, G. 2001. “Alaus oculatus” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved March 07, 2008 from

Hays, H. 2001. “Gasterophilus intestinalis” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved  March 07, 2008 from

Ivory, A. 2000. “Bubulcus ibis” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved  March 07, 2008 from

Kellogg, D. and D. Fautin. 2001. “Crinoidea” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved  March 07, 2008 from

Ramirez, Y. 2002. “Pisaster ochraceus” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved March 07, 2008 from

Smith, C. and B. Lundrigan. 2007. “Abrocoma boliviensis” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved March 07, 2008 from

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