What does and does not belong to each order is determined by a taxonomist, as is whether a particular order should be recognized at all. Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists each taking a different position. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing or recognizing an order. Some taxa are accepted almost universally, while others are recognised only rarely.
For some groups of organisms, consistent suffixes are used to denote that the rank is an order. The Latin suffix -(i)formes meaning "having the form of" is used for the scientific name of orders of birds and fishes, but not for those of mammals and invertebrates. The suffix -ales is for the name of orders of plants, fungi, and algae.
In their 1997 classification of mammals, McKenna and Bell used two extra levels between superorder and order: "grandorder" and "mirorder". Michael Novacek (1986) inserted them at the same position. Michael Benton (2005) inserted them between superorder and magnorder instead. This position was adopted by Systema Naturae 2000 and others.
In botany, the ranks of subclass and suborder are secondary ranks pre-defined as respectively above and below the rank of order. Any number of further ranks can be used as long as they are clearly defined.
The order as a distinct rank of biological classification having its own distinctive name (and not just called a higher genus (genus summum)) was first introduced by the German botanist Augustus Quirinus Rivinus in his classification of plants that appeared in a series of treatises in the 1690s. Carl Linnaeus was the first to apply it consistently to the division of all three kingdoms of nature (minerals, plants, and animals) in his Systema Naturae (1735, 1st. Ed.).