I am a 1st year Aberdeen university student studying Marine Resources Management and am currently working on an assessment.  One part of the assessment asks about the classification system used to distinguish between marine animals and plants, and to make reference to the characteristics associated with differentiating between invertebrates and vertebrates.

I have ran numerous searches on the internet on the marine classification system and am unable to find any information. I have been to our library but it doesn't have any information.

I would appreciate if you could help me and send me the relevant information needed to answer the question.


Thank you for your message. It is interesting in two respects.

Firstly, some of the information requested is on the BMLSS web site. The trick to know exactly how to ask what you are  looking for. Actually, it is quite prominently included on the Homepages, index page and lots of other pages as well. It is as follows:

Use these links if your are familiar with the scientific classifications of marine life

The above page was created in the first month of 1997 when the BMLSS web site was started. Click on the text in the box to go to the site.

Secondly, it is interesting because it is BMLSS policy not to include information when it can be easily obtained elsewhere. Encyclopaedia Britannica is recommended as the first choice to find out anything. We will rarely include anything that is simply a repetition of information provided by them. It is rarely possible to improve on their text. It can be made more understandable for the layman, but this often results in being a less precise and possibly an inaccurate explanation.

The entry for Taxonomy in Encyclopaedia Britannica is its normal high standard, and there is an excellent bibliography.

I have been planning to write my own page on this subject for years, and I am likely to do so during the year 2000.

Andy Horton.
The information is in the following book:

Robert D. Barnes:  Invertebrate  Zoology  (pic.)
Publisher:  Holt-Saunders International Edition
Fourth edition   ISBN 4-8337-0001-8

This is unlikely to be the latest edition.

Even the most basic biology book is likely to have an explantion about the classification of life forms. Also, even the identification books will have some sort of explanation.

Biodiversity for the Aquarist & Rockpooler

National Center for Biotechnology Information
NCBI taxonomy browser

Zoological Record  BIOSIS Internet Guide to Zoology   (this site has not been vetted)

British Marine Life Study Society Home Page
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