<biology> The highest taxonomic rank, immediately above phylum or division. There are five biological kingoms:

1. Kingdom animalia: The members of this kingom are complex, multicellular, eukaryotic organisms that digest food outside their cells and then absorb the digested nutrients. Animals must consume other organisms to obtain most of their nutrients.

2. Kingdom fungi: Kingdom Fungi includes organisms such as slime moulds, mushrooms, smuts, rusts, mildews, moulds, stinkhorns, puffballs, truffles and yeasts. Allare classified in this kingdom because they absorb food in solution directly through their cell walls and reproduce through spores. None conduct photosynthesis.

3. Kingdom monera: This is the most primitive of the five kingdoms, it encompasses all the bacteria. Monerans are single-celled prokaryotic organisms.

4. Kingdom plantae: The members of this kingdom are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms that (usually) conduct photosynthesis.

5. Kingdom protista: This kingdom is composed of single-celled (sometimes multicellular), eukaryotic organisms. Protists are more complex than bacteria and include protozooans and some types of algae.

(09 Oct 1997)

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