∞ generated and posted on 2016.08.30 ∞
Level of organism classification that distinguishes animals from plants and both from fungi.
Kingdoms is the major taxonomic category found immediately above the level of phylum. That is, Domain > Kingdom > Phylum > Class > Order > Family > Genus > Species, where ">" implies larger than in terms of what species are contained within a given taxonomic category. Taxonomic category mnemonics can be found here.
Today it is recognized that there are far more kingdom-level taxa than were recognized by the five-kingdom system, though kingdoms Animalia, Fungi, and Plantae still persist more or less intact. Despite the now dominance of the three-domain system of organismal classification, kingdom remains an important taxonomic category, indicating substantial differences among organisms, e.g., essentially just as plants are substantially different from animals and both from fungi.
Because other kingdoms consist of either microorganisms, or organisms that we are less familiar with such as multicellular algae, distinguishing among those kingdoms intuitively is not as readily achieved as among the animals, fungi, and plants, but instead requires both microscopic, biochemical, and genetic means of comparative biology.