The Prokaryotic, Eukaryotic, and Archaea Kingdoms

I was interested to learn this morning that biologists no longer divide all life into two cellular kingdoms; they divide life into three kingdoms. When I took college biology as recently as the mid-1990s, teachers and textbooks were still stating that all life could be divided into the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cellular kingdoms (we belong to the eukaryotic kingdom because our cells have nuclei among other internal structures that bacteria in the prokaryotic kingdom do not).

The new kingdom was discovered in the late-1970s when research revealed some microorganisms that resembled bacteria but were as different from bacteria as we are. These organisms are the Archaea, and include the interesting little critters of the world that live in the most hostile environments such as hot springs in Yellowstone National Park. The current three kingdom theory of life is only now beginning to show up in textbooks and is not generally taught in schools. I discovered this information on the great The Phylogeny of Life website published by the University of California Berkeley.

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a writer and poet. His first published poem, "Roadside Freak Show," arrives on August 21, 2017 in Impossible Archetype.  His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).