Diversity of Living Organisms Short Notes PDF in English for Class 11, NEET, AIIMS and Medical Exams

Diversity of Living Organisms Short Notes PDF: Find below the important notes for the chapter, Diversity of Living Organisms as per the NEET Biology syllabus. This is helpful for aspirants of NEET and other exams during last-minute revision. Important notes for NEET Biology- Diversity of Living Organisms Short Notes PDF cover all the important topics and concepts useful for the exam.

Diversity of Living Organisms Short Notes PDF

Diversity of Living Organisms Short Notes PDF

The Earth is the main area where living organisms live. The world consists of millions of living organisms that sometimes we cannot even see with our naked eyes. These organisms are found to be living in various habitats that include forests, oceans, deserts, lakes, mountains, and even hot water springs.

Diversity in living organisms can be experienced everywhere on earth. The warm and humid regions of the earth are highly diverse and are called the region of mega biodiversity. 12 countries in the world have more than half of the biodiversity in the world. India is one of them.

Each individual has a unique DNA set up. We differ amongst human beings in the way we look and different attributes contributing to it such as our height, complexion etc. If we compare ourselves with a different species like a horse or a fish, we would definitely vary greatly in almost all aspects but if a horse is compared to a zebra, we would be able to draw a few differences only.

  • Identification: It is the method of pacing the organisms in their exact place based on their classification. The identification of organisms can be done with the help of taxonomic keys.
  • Classification: The classification is the process of grouping various living organisms based on the common features that they share. A single group consists of those organisms that have similar common features. To make classification easier various groups are forms in which different organisms are placed depending upon their characteristics.
  • Characterization: The studying and understanding of characters of organisms and categorizing them like external and internal structure (morphology and anatomy), the structure of the cell (cytology), developmental process (embryology), and ecological information (ecology) of the organism.
  • Nomenclature: Frequently, the living beings around us are identified by local names which vary from spot to spot and dialect to dialect. Consequently there is a need to institutionalize naming them. Researchers have figured certain strategies to allot scientific name to every creature.
    • International Code for Nomenclature are:
      • ICBN-International Code of Botanical Nomenclature
      • ICZN-International Code of Zoological Nomenclature
      • ICVN-International Code of Viral Nomenclature
      • ICNB-International Code for Bacteriological Nomenclature or Nomenclature of Bacteria
    • Rules of Nomenclature:
      • Each biological name has two words-The principal word speaks about genus and the second speaks to the specific epithet.
      • The expressions of the name ought to be independently underlined when manually written and ought to be in italics when printed.
      • The generic name ought to begin with a capital letter and specific epithet ought to begin with a little letter.
      • The names ought to be either Latin or Latinized.
      • Name of the writer shows up toward the end of the scientific name in a curtailed structure. e.g.: Homo sapiens Linn. It demonstrates that this species is initially depicted by Linnaeus.
  • Taxonomy: Taxonomy is the study of the classification, characterization, nomenclature, and identification of organisms and it is a branch of science. Systematics is another branch of science that includes the study of the classification, nomenclature, identification, and evolutionary history of an organism. Thus, the taxonomic characteristics of an organism along with its evolutionary history come under systematics. In 1813, A.P de Candolle was the first to introduce the term taxonomy while systematics was introduced as the time of human civilization.
  • Taxonomic Categories:
    • Domains: Domains are the top-level classification that categorizes life in the most general way. It’s even more general than asking whether an organism is a plant or an animal.
    • Kingdom (Animalia): The highest level of classification is the kingdom which is further divided into various subgroups. The total kingdoms of the living organisms are:
      • Bacteria
      • Archaea
      • Protozoa
      • Chromista
      • Plantae
      • Fungi
      • Animalia
    • Phylum (Chordata): Each phylum is grouped into a kingdom, which is grouped into a domain.
      • ANIMAL KINGDOM: The animal kingdom contains approximately 35 phyla.
      • PLANT KINGDOM: The plant kingdom consists of 14.
      • FUNGUS KINGDOM: The fungus kingdom contains 8 phyla.
    • Class (Mammalia): It was the most general taxonomic category before the introduction of phyla. In the animal kingdom, there are around 108 classes that include Pisces, reptilia, aves, etc. The categories used in classification now are different from those of the Linnaeus taxonomy.
    • Order (Primata): This taxonomic category is more specific than the class as it consists of one or more similar families. The class Mammalia consists of around twenty-six orders that include primates, Carnivora, etc.
    • Family (Hominidae): This taxonomic category consists of related genera having similar characteristics. For e.g., the families Canidae, Felidae, Ursidae, etc come under one order Carnivora.
    • Genus (Homo):A category that is placed above species as they consist of a group of related species. Genus are of various types based on the number of species present like monotypic (one genus present), and polytypic (several species present). For e.g., the genus Panthera constitutes both lion and tiger.
    • Species (sapiens): It is the lowest category of the taxonomic hierarchy. There are around 8.7 million species observed on earth till now while their rest are left undiscovered. It refers to a group of organisms that are similar in shape, form, generative options.

Common Name

Biological Name





Phylum/ Division


Homo sapiens







Musca domestica







Mangifera indica







Triticum aestivum






Taxonomical Aids

Taxonomical aids are the collections of samples or preserved organisms which help in extensive research for the identification of various taxonomic hierarchy. Classifying organisms into various categories needs a lot of field and laboratory study. This is an essential process, because taxonomic categorization helps in identifying many organisms necessary in various fields like agriculture, industries, bio resources, etc. The taxonomical Aids are the main source which helps us in studying the relative level of a group of organisms, their taxonomic hierarchy and the taxonomic rank.

Types of Taxonomical Aids

Herbarium: It is a store that houses a collection of preserved plant species. Plant specimens are preserved in forms of herbarium sheets which are prepared by drying, pressing and preserving the samples on sheets. These sheets are then arranged in their order of classification in the taxonomic hierarchy. These herbarium sheets carry all the information about the respective specimen.

Botanical garden: These are gardens in which specific plants are grown and are labelled according to their taxonomy. Thus, the labels carry their scientific names and family. The main purpose of botanical gardens is to identify the plant species under consideration.

Museum: Biological museums are found in schools and colleges; like the biology laboratory that we find in our schools. In these museums, plants and animal species are preserved in jars and containers with the help of appropriate preservatives. They may also be dried and preserved. Birds and larger animals are usually stuffed before preserving and insects are killed and pinned in the boxes. We sometimes find skeletons of various animals too.

Zoological park: These are places where animals and birds are kept in protected boundaries. An attempt is made to provide them with a habitat closest to their natural habitats. Thus, we get a chance to learn about their natural habits and behaviour. Zoological parks are open for human visits.

Key: This is a taxonomical aid where plants and animals are recognized based on contrasting characteristics known as keys. Two contrasting keys are generally kept as a pair, thus leading to acceptance of one and rejection of another.

Characteristics of Five Kingdoms

Kingdom Monera

  • These are unicellular prokaryotes.

  • They lack a true nucleus.

  • They may or may not contain a cell wall.

  • They may be heterotrophic or autotrophic.

  • For eg., Bacteria, Cyanobacteria

Kingdom Protista

  • These contain unicellular, eukaryotic organisms.

  • They exhibit an autotrophic or heterotrophic mode of nutrition.

  • They possess pseudopodia, cilia, flagella for locomotion.

  • For eg., amoeba, paramaecium

Kingdom Fungi

  • These are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms.

  • They exhibit a saprophytic mode of nutrition.

  • The cell wall is made up of chitin.

  • They live in a symbiotic relationship with blue-green algae.

  • For eg., Yeast, Aspergillus

Kingdom Plantae

  • These are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms.

  • The cell wall is made up of cellulose.

  • They prepare their own food by means of photosynthesis.

  • Kingdom Plantae is sub-divided into- Thallophyta, Bryophyta, Pteridophyta, Gymnosperms, Angiosperms.

  • For eg., Pines, ferns, Mango tree

Kingdom Animalia

  • These are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms without a cell wall.

  • They are heterotrophs.

  • The organisms in kingdom Animalia can be simple or complex.

  • They are genetically diverse.

  • They exhibit an organ-system level of organization.

  • It is sub-divided into different phyla such as Porifera, Coelenterata, Echinodermata, Chordata, etc.

  • For eg., Earthworms, Hydra, etc.


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