Chapter 4 The Organization of Life
4.3 The Diversity of Living Things
4.3 The Diversity of Living
• Name the six kingdoms of organisms
and identify two characteristics of each.
• Explain the importance of bacteria and
fungi in the environment.
• Describe the importance of protists in
the ocean environment.
• Describe how angiosperms and animals
depend on each other.
• Explain why insects are such successful
• Most scientists classify the tremendous
diversity of life on Earth into six kindoms.
• Members of these six kingdoms get their food
in different ways and are made of different
types of cells – the basic unit of life.
• Bacteria are microscopic, unicellular
organisms that normally have a cell wall,
and reproduce by dividing in half.
• Both kingdoms of bacteria, archaebacteria
and eubacteria, lack a true nucleus.
• Bacteria live in every environment on Earth
from hot springs to the digestive tract of
• Most bacteria belong to the eubacteria
• Some kinds of bacteria are directly involved
in breaking down waste materials, feces,
and dead plants and animals.
• The recycling of elements and fixation of
nitrogen (from atmospheric nitrogen to a
usable form for plants) are extremely important
in maintaining a proper environment.
• Bacteria also allow many organisms, including
humans, to extract certain nutrients from their
• Escherichia coli, found in the intestines of
humans and other animals, is essential in the
digestion of food and the release of certain
Oscillatoria, a common
ponds and lakes.
micrograph of E. coli
• The fungi are organisms with cells that have
nuclei, cell walls, and no chlorophyll.
• The mushroom is simply a reproductive
structure of a fungus.
• The rest of the fungus is an underground
system of hyphae that absorb food from
decaying organisms underground.
• All fungi are heterotrophs because they
absorb their food from their surroundings.
• Fungi release chemicals that break down
food sources so that the nutrients can then
• Fungi play an important role in the
environment by breaking down the
remains of dead plant and animal
• Some fungi cause diseases, such as
• Other fungi are used in baking food,
such as yeast, or eaten as a delicacy
– like truffles.
• Kingdom Protista is a large, very diverse
group of organisms that includes most of the
unicellular eukaryotic organisms as well as
algae that can include very large organisms
such as kelp.
• Diatoms, unicellular marine algae with cell
walls of silica that are responsible for much
of the atmosphere’s free oxygen, are
• Many parasitic forms of protists, such as
Plasmodium sp. are causative agents of
• Spirogyra is an algae commonly seen as
pond scum in many freshwater ponds and
• Plants are multi-cellular autotrophs, have cell
walls made of cellulose, and they normally
make their own food through photosynthesis.
• Most plants live on land where they receive
sunlight, oxygen, and carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere and minerals and water are
normally extracted from the ground.
• Roots provide anchorage for most plants and
gather much needed water from the ground.
• Leaves normally intercept light energy and
convert it to chemical energy and provide an
avenue for gas exchange.
• Vascular tissues provide for transport of
water and nutrients for the plant as well
as provide support for the plant.
• The earliest plants on land had no
vascular tissue and swimming sperm,
therefore, they could not grow very tall
or be far from water.
• Liverwort is an example of one such
• Club mosses and ferns were some of
the first plants to have vascular tissue.
• Gymnosperms are woody plants that have
seeds which are not enclosed in fruits.
• Many of the cone-bearing gymnosperms are
• Gymnosperms produce pollen, a design that
protects the sperm and moves it from one
plant to another.
• The developing plants are protected from
drying out by the design of the seed.
• A conifer’s needle-like leaves protect the
plant from drying out by losing too much
• Angiosperms, flowering plants that produce
seeds in fruit, make up most of today’s land
• The flower is the reproductive structure of
• Some angiosperms have small flowers that
produce pollen carried by wind or water currents.
• Some angiosperms depend on insect or other
animal vectors for pollination.
• Also, some animals will eat the fruit of
angiosperms and deposit the seed later as the
animal releases excrement, thus dispersing the
• Human populations depend heavily on the
flowering plants that produce grain crops such as
wheat and rice.
• Animals are multi-cellular heterotrophs with no
• Animals often move about in their environment
in at least one stage of their life.
• Invertebrates are animals that have no
• Some invertebrates live attached to a hard
substrate at the bottom of the ocean and filter
particles of food from the water.
• The larvae of many sessile organisms are
motile – they swim about and settle in another
• Invertebrates also include motile and diverse
groups such as the mollusks and insects.
• There are more insects on Earth than any
other type of animal.
• Insects have an external skeleton, they can
move quickly, reproduce in great numbers,
and most can fly.
• Because of their small size, they can live on
little food and hide from predators in small
• Many insects have coevolved with species of
plants which they pollinate.
Darwin’s orchid (right) has a
nectar chamber almost 11
inches deep. Based on this, a
species of moth was predicted
to exist that was discovered 40
Acacia trees and ants
(left) have developed
• Vertebrates are animals that have
• The first vertebrates were fish, however, all
biomes have vertebrate representatives that
can be found in the water, on land, and in the
• Amphibians are either partially or completely
• The development of the amniotic egg and a
skin that retains moisture allowed the first
amniotes (reptiles) to truly colonize land
biomes in the Paleozoic Era.
• Birds and mammals (and
dinosaurs???) have evolved a means
of homeostasis regulation that allows
for a fairly constant internal body
temperature with little influence from
the external environment.
• The internal regulation of body
temperature allowed for colonization of
previously inhospitable habitats.
• Six Kingdoms of Classification http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~jensrud/cl
• Escherichia coli http://res2.agr.ca/Lethbridge/emia/SEM
• Osciallatoria http://www.rvt.com/~lucas/school/cyano
• Truffles Pig http://alum.mit.edu/ne/whatmatters/200
• Truffles - http://www.ercps.com/pasta/rcp/p_stuv/truff_blk.shtml
• Athlete’s Foot http://www.foothealthcare.com/html/footprobs
• Spyrogira http://www2.volstate.edu/rbarber/Labillustrati
• Kelp http://www.pbs.org/oceanrealm/seadwellers/c
• Amoeba proteus http://www.oberlin.k12.oh.us/talent/isp/reports
• Liverworts http://masseynews.massey.ac.nz/magazine/2
• Vascular Tissue http://www.wappingersschools.org/RCK/staff/t
• Australian Tree Fern http://www.teachersparadise.com/ency/en/wik
• Pine Cone http://www.erin.utoronto.ca/~w3env100y/env/
• Cycad Cone http://www.cdutcm.edu.cn/jpkc/yyzw/wwwroot
• Gymnosperms http://www.cneccc.edu.hk/subjects/bio/album/
• Angiosperm Flower http://faculty.uca.edu/~johnc/evolution_and_di
• Crinoid http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/04
• Halocynthia roretzi (Sea Squirt)http://www.lib.noaa.gov/korea/main_species/s
• Ant & Acacia Mutualism http://web.fccj.org/~dbyres/ant1.html
• Darwin’s Orchid http://faculty.washington.edu/jrw/110/darorch.