Taxonomy is the branch of science that classifies life into groups. Carolus Linnaeus pioneered the grouping of organisms based on scientific names using Latin. His system of giving an organism a scientific name of two parts, sometimes more, is called binomial nomenclature, or "two-word naming." His scheme was based on physical similarities and differences, referred to as characters. Today, taxonomic classification is much more complex and takes into account cellular types and organization, biochemical similarities, and genetic similarities. Taxonomy is one aspect of a much larger field called systematics.
|The book in which Linnaeus introduced his system
of classifying living things, first published in 1735
A taxon is a group of organisms constituting one of the formal units in taxonomic classification (phylum, order, etc.) and characterized by common characteristics in varying degrees of distinction. Plural "taxa."