Pocket Genius Science: The living world – Types of living thing

Facts At Your Fingertips: The living world – Types of living thing

Scientists divide the wide variety of life on Earth into different groups. The smallest group is the “species,” which are life- forms that are very similar and are able to breed with each other. The largest group is the “kingdom.”

There are five kingdoms—fungi, bacteria, protists, plants, and animals.


A group of living things called fungi feeds on dead or rotting animals and plants.

This kingdom includes mushrooms, molds, and yeast.


All living things are made up of microscopic units called cells. Tiny single-celled bacteria are the simplest form of life, and the most common. They are found all over the planet.


Members of the plant kingdom produce oxygen and are crucial to life on Earth. They make their own food using the energy of the Sun, and also provide food for both animals and fungi.


The protists are also single-celled life-forms. Their cells are more complex than bacteria and contain a nucleus as a control center. Many protists, such as algae, live together in large groups.


The animal kingdom is divided into two groups: vertebrates, which have a backbone and include mammals, reptiles, and fish; and invertebrates, which lack a backbone and include insects, spiders, and crustaceans.