Originally, Aristole classified organisms by only exterior similarities. All organisms that fly would be classified as similar according to Aristole. Thus he would have placed bats and birds in the same category but would not have placed penguins in this group since they don't fly. His classification rationale is an artificial system of classification.
Today, organisms are classified by a natural system of classification which relies on structure, biochemical and physiological similarities. In the eighteenth-century, Swedish naturalist, Carolus Linnaeus, (Carl von Linné) devised a natural system of classification using three main categories or KINGDOMS, animal, vegetable and mineral. Of course the latter kingdom did not have living organisms.
Scientists expanded the first two Kingdoms to five kingdoms, monera (bacteria), protista, fungi, plantae and animalia. As scientists discovered a special group of bacteria that can live in extreme condidtions, a sixth Kingdom was identified, the Archaea.
There are five kingdoms that have similar organisms but the sixth, the protista, have both one-celled plants and one-celled animals.
The Kingdom Archaea contains bacteria that live in extreme environments of heat, high methane concentrations or anoxic conditions. They are sometimes called "extremophiles" for this reason. They are found in deep within sediments, in vent communities, deep in solid rock formations. Some scientists believe that they may make up more biomass than all other living organisms combined.
All organisms can be separated into two major categories, those whose cells do not have a nucleus, PROKARYOTE, and those whose cells do have a nucleus, EUKARYOTES.
Kingdoms:- Monera, Archaea, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, AnimaliaPhyla - There are 11 phyla of animals on land and 28 phyla of animals in the sea.
There are no true Marine Amphibia nor are there many fungi. Some fungi associate with marine algae in the intertidal zone in a relationship that is similar but not identical to lichens on the land.
Naming the Herring gull.
Sub-Phylum - Vertebrata,
Class - Aves,
Order - Charadriformes,
Family - Laridae,
Genus - Larus
Species - argentatus
Larus argentatus - the Herring gull
BACTERIA, ARCHAEA, AND VIRUSESBacterial cells are prokaryotic cells that degrade organic matter and return it to inorganic nutirents. Cyano-bacteria (blue-green algae) are capable of photosynthesis.
The Archaea, also prokaryotes, are bacteria-like organisms that have the capability of producing enzyme systems not normally found in bacteria. They live in extreme environments including deep sediments in the ocean and in rock formations deep in the earth. These organisms have attracted the attention of both marine and land biologists.
Bacteria are frequently infected with even smaller viruses (bacteriophages) that can only reproduce within the cells of organisms such as bacteria. Viruses take over the biological activities within the cell by substituting their RNA for the host's RNA.
Some viruses (pycoviruses) infect phytoplankton cells.
Viruses are so small that 100 million can exist in one milliliter of sea water or 3 billion per ounce of sea water.
PHYTOPLANKTON (Part of the Protista Kingdom)- UNICELLULAR ALGAE
Although most diatoms do not produce toxins some do such as Pseudo-nitzschi which produces domoic acid which is a deadly nerve toxin.
There are more than 100,000 species of diatoms in the ponds, lakes, rivers, and the ocean. Diatoms account for 20% of all photosynthesis on the earth.
Michael McCabe, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 8, 2002
Marine scientists are carefully sampling the waters off Monterey this week for signs that a mysterious species of plankton could suddenly bloom and begin poisoning marine mammals, fish, sea birds -- and possibly humans.
Hundreds of California sea lions, common dolphins and other marine mammals and sea birds have become ill or died on the southern and central California coast during the past two months.
In recent days, at least one northern fur seal was discovered stranded and ill in the Monterey Bay area, suggesting that a plankton bloom there has already become toxic enough to sicken animals, scientists believe.
The culprit is a diatom of the genus Pseudo-nitzschi, a microscopic single- celled plant that under certain conditions can produce domoic acid, a deadly nerve toxin.
Recognizing the danger, the California Department of Health Services has issued several warnings to avoid eating all sport-harvested species of bivalve shellfish. The quarantine area is in effect for the entire California coast, including bays and estuaries. A separate health advisory for the San Luis Obispo coast warns people to avoid eating the dark-colored organs of anchovies, sardines and crab.
There is no direct threat to humans unless they forage along the coast for small fish or shellfish and ingest them in great numbers, according to scientists.
The chief threat is believed to come from anchovies which eat the diatoms and can pass the toxins on up the food chain, to larger fish, birds and marine mammals.
There have been no reports of humans becoming ill caused by the toxins in California. All fish and shellfish sold in commercial stores and markets are safe to eat because they are carefully monitored by the state, said Raphael Kudela, an oceanographer at UC Santa Cruz and one of the chief investigators into the domoic acid phenomenon.
The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito has received 27 seriously ill sea lions from the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center. Southern California wildlife rescuers said they have been unable to keep pace with the problem.
"There are so many sick and dead mammals on beaches that the system is overloaded," said John Heyning, curator of marine mammals at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. "I suspect the numbers are going to rise, but you have to keep in mind that there are so many of these marine mammals we are not looking for them to become endangered because of this."
Four of the 27 sea lions transferred to the Sausalito center have died. Clinical symptoms of domoic acid poisoning have been found in all the transferred animals, said Kathryn Zagzebski, stranding manager at the center.
The diatoms are a naturally occurring organism that goes virtually unnoticed unless conditions are perfect for them to bloom. And even if they do bloom, they may not always become toxic enough to cause problems, said William Cochlan, senior research scientist at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies at San Francisco State University.
There have been outbreaks of toxic algae many times in the past, scientists now believe. Some suspect that the phenomenon can be traced all the way back to biblical times. In 1998, the deaths of more than 400 sea lions in one month off Central California were attributed to this particular diatom phytoplankton.
"We now suspect that domoic acid poisoning was also the cause of a massive bird poisoning in 1961, which resulted in birds acting as if they were intoxicated," Cochlan said.
That event is believed by some scientists to have been part of the inspiration behind the fictional marauding birds of Alfred Hitchcock's 1961 classic, "The Birds."
In humans, high doses of the toxin can cause permanent memory loss and death, Cochlan said. In 1987, he added, three people died and 104 others became ill in Prince Edward Island, Canada, after eating blue mussels carrying the domoic acid.
"The two big questions we are trying to answer now is what causes these toxic species to bloom along the central coast, and even when these diatoms do bloom, why don't they always produce domoic acid," Cochlan said.
This latest outbreak is not a so-called red tide invasion, marine scientists said, noting that it is not red and has nothing to do with tides.
Nor is there any way to turn it back.
"It's a natural phenomenon, and we can't stop it," said Heyning. "We can only hope to find out what is going on, and we probably won't get all the answers for months, if ever."
E-mail Michael McCabe at email@example.com.
CHLOROPHYTES green seaweed, can tolerate urban waters, surface plants with no accessory pigments, lettuce like Ulva
PHAEOPHYTES brown seaweed, kelps, 130 ft. long, accessory pigment is fucoxanthin allowing growth at greater depths than chlorophytes, Macrocystis, Sargassum
RHODOPHYTES most seaweeds are red algae, usually in low latitude waters, accessory pigments are phycobilins allowing rhodophytes to grow in extremely low light sources but some grow at surfaces which may suggest that the accessory pigments shade the plant, Lithophyllum looks like a rock and has calcium carbonate within its tissues, Lithothamnion is a coral community red algae and as such is called a coralline algae
Phragmites are commonly found in marshlands adjacent to brackish estuary waters. There were common phragmites that had a smooth, shiny stem; easily bent; did not have plants growing close to one another; produced sparse flowers; were reddish at the bottom in spring and summer.
These phragmites have been replaced along the east coast by a non-native species from Europe which have different traits. This species has been identified as type M phragmites. They grow densely inhibiting the grow of other plants in the marsh. They have a rhizome root system and reproduce radiply. Their stems are rough and ridged; not easily bent; and tan at the bottom.