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How do I find out the species, genus, family, order, class, phylum (division), and kingdom of an animal?

  • You can find the scientific classification of many common animals in the Infoplease encyclopedia. To find an article just enter the animal name in the search box at the top of the page and click "Go." See our Search Tips if you need more help.
  • The scientific name of a species is made up of its genus and species, and it is written in italics (Genus species) with the genus capitalized. You will find these names in most encyclopedia entries about animals.
  • For example, in the article on cat, you will see that domestic cats are Felis catus. Most longer articles also have a link to additional classification information; in the section on cat classification you can read that "Cats are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Felidae."
  • If the article is shorter and does not have a separate section on classification, the last sentence of the article will usually give you the additional classification information; see the article on parrots for an example.
  • Animals are in the Kingdom Animalia.
  • For more on the system of classification itself, see the encyclopedia article on classification, and this chart with Examples of Systematic Classification

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