Classification of Dinosaurs

The method by which organisms or traces of their activities are named, which provides a framework for communicating through a classification system, is taxonomy. Thus, a name given to a group of organisms in a classification system is called a taxon (plural taxa). Dinosaurs can be classified in two ways. The more up-to-date of those two methods, cladistics (explained below), is the preferred one used worldwide by paleontologists (people who study the fossil record). The older, traditional method is the Linnaean classification, named after the Swedish botanist, Carl von Linné (1707-78), better known by his pen name Carolus Linnaeus. In his botanical studies, Linné realized that a standard method was needed to name organisms, which he presented in 1758. The Linnaean method is based on hierarchical grades of classification, meaning that organisms are fitted into increasingly more exclusive categories, based on a standard set of anatomical attributes of members in that category. The higher grades become more stringent about which organisms belong to them on the basis of an arbitrary number of characteristics that an organism might have or not have. Such a classification system is typically stratified, starting with groups that contain many members, then progressing to groups with fewer members, such as, in order of largest to smallest group, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. In botany, the equivalent grade

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