Monday, September 7, 2009

Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. They include familiar organisms such as trees, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The scientific study of plants, known as botany, has identified about 350,000 extant species of plants, defined as seed plants, bryophytes, ferns and fern allies. As of 2004, some 287,655 species had been identified, of which 258,650 are flowering and 18,000 bryophytes (see table below). Green plants, sometimes called Viridiplantae, obtain most of their energy from sunlight via a process called photosynthesis.

Fossil range: Ediacaran - Recent,

Scientific classification
Domain: Eukarya
(unranked): Opisthokonta
Kingdom: Animalia
Linnaeus, 1758

Animals are a major group of mostly multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently. Most animals are also heterotrophs, meaning they must ingest other organisms for sustenance.

Most known animal phyla appeared in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion, about 542 million years ago.