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Biological classification

The heirachy of biological classification's eight major taxonomic ranks. Intermediate minor rankings are not shown.

In biological classification, class is:

  • a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, order, family, genus, and species, with class fitting between phylum and order. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the prefix sub-: subclass.
  • a taxonomic unit, a taxon, in that rank. In that case the plural is classes.

The composition of each class is determined by a taxonomist. Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists taking different positions. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing a class.

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