Limitations of Five-Kingdom Classification
As already pointed out, each system of classification has its own limitations. The two-kingdom system has outlived its usefulness as it could not do justice to forms like Euglena and Volvox. The three-kingdom classification failed to accommodate properly prokaryotic forms. The limitation of the four-kingdom classification was that despite creation of kingdom Monera it failed to account for the intergradations between Protista and Animalia.
The present five kingdom system is also not the final solution to the problems of taxonomy. In this system too we have many weaknesses despite the acceptance of this system by most biologists. The exclusion of Protozoa from the animal kingdom, in this system concerns many zoologists. Protozoa share many characteristics with Metazoan animals. Most ingest their food; many have specialised organelles and advanced locomotory systems; many reproduce sexually and some flagellate protozoa are colonial with division of labour among cell types. Indeed, there is little doubt that metazoan animals evolved from one or more protozoans groups. Thus zoologists though accepting that are eukaryotic protists and not animals according to the five kingdom classification, still continue to claim Protozoa as their own. This system is also not able to show clearly the inter-relationships of various groups in all instances. Even now many phyla contain forms whose relationships are not clearly understood. among nonchordates the grouping collectively called Minor phyla has unsolved problem of phylogenetic placement. Recently, many biologists have also tried to split the kingdom Monera into two: (i) Eubacteria and (ii) Archaebacteria, leading thus to the proposal of six kingdoms. In fact, during the past twenty years various revisions in the classification system have been discussed with the number of kingdoms ranging from 3-13. Biologists generally follow the five-kingdom-classification despite its inadequecies because it appears to be the most acceptable system today and indeed the most convenient one available.