Biology is the science of life forms and living processes. The living world
comprises an amazing diversity of living organisms. Early man could
easily perceive the difference between inanimate matter and living
organisms. Early man deified some of the inanimate matter (wind, sea,
fire etc.) and some among the animals and plants. A common feature of
all such forms of inanimate and animate objects was the sense of awe
or fear that they evoked. The description of living organisms including
human beings began much later in human history. Societies which
indulged in anthropocentric view of biology could register limited
progress in biological knowledge. Systematic and monumental
description of life forms brought in, out of necessity, detailed systems
of identification, nomenclature and classification. The biggest spin off
of such studies was the recognition of the sharing of similarities among
living organisms both horizontally and vertically. That all present day
living organisms are related to each other and also to all organisms
that ever lived on this earth, was a revelation which humbled man and
led to cultural movements for conservation of biodiversity. In the
following chapters of this unit, you will get a description, including
classification, of animals and plants from a taxonomist’s perspective.
Chapter 1
The Living World
Chapter 2
Biological Classification
Chapter 3
Plant Kingdom
Chapter 4
Animal Kingdom