Polyodon spathula is the scientific name of the common paddlefish or spoonbill. Polyodon means "many toothed" and spathula means spatula (Paddlefish, 02). The common name was depicted from the abnormally long, flat nose that the fish has. It looks like a long paddle (Paddlefish, 02).

Domain- Eukaryota
Paddlefish have membrane-bound organelles and a true nucleus, which are the characteristics of animals in the domain Eukaryota (

Kingdom- Animalia
Paddlefish are multicellular, heterotrophic eukaryotes.  They also lack cell walls, the final characteristic of Kingdom Animalia (Perez, 2013).

Phylum- Chordata
Paddlefish possess dorsal, tubular nerve chord; pharyngeal pouches; notochord; segmentation; and a post-anal tail.  In addition, they have bilateral symmetry, a coelom, and a complete digestive system.  All of these characteristics are some that distinguish Chordates from other phylums (Myers, 2001).

Class- Actinopterygii
Class Actinopterygii is composed of ray-finned fish.  It is an extremely large group, possessing half of the living vertebrates.  It contains the largest group of living fish (Nelson, 2009).

 Order- Acipenseriformes
The order Acipenseriformes include very old ray-finned fish that include Paddlefish, Sturgeon and extinct fish (references.htm).

Family- Polyodontidae

The Paddlefish resides in the family Polyodontidae. Polyodontidae is a noun meaning Paddlefish.

Genus- Polyodon

Primitive fish, usually, found in the Mississippi Valley that has a paddle-shaped nose (

Species- Spathula

Spathula means spatula. Reason for this is because of the Paddlefish's long snout (Paddlefish, 02).