IN CONTEXT

KEY FIGURE

Carl Woese (1928–2012)

BEFORE

1758 Systema Naturae (10th edition) by Carl Linnaeus classifies known life into two kingdoms: animals and plants.

1937 French biologist Edouard Chatton divides life into prokaryotes (bacteria) and eukaryotes (organisms with complex cells).

1966 German biologist Willi Hennig establishes a system of classification based on clades—groups of organisms based on common ancestry.

1969 American ecologist Robert Whittaker divides life into five kingdoms: bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, and animals.

AFTER

2017 A consensus among biologists accepts a seven-kingdom classification of life.

Before biologists ...

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