(1) Use Wofram Alpha to classify the following

  • grizzly bear vs black bear vs koala bear
  • gray whale vs sperm whale vs orca
  • desert tortoise vs leatherback turtle vs common snapping turtle
  • Sequoiadendron vs Sequoia sempervirens vs bristlecone pine
  • golden trout vs Garibaldi

(2) Developing your own taxonomic flow chart. (from the Sourcebook for Teaching Science)

Taxonomy is the science of classification. Geologists classify rocks, astronomers classify stars, botanists classify plants, zoologists classify animals, musicians classify music, artists classify art, and even hardware manufacturers classify hardware. Figure 9.6 is a flowchart that leads to the classification of screws commonly used in construction. The diamonds represent decisions that must be made in order to identify a screw. After studying figure 9.6, develop your own taxonomic flow chart for items of your choosing. You may classify flowers, rocks, fabrics, leaves, wood, assorted junk, or a collection of hardware (nails, screws, washers, bolts, hinges, clasps, etc.). Alternatively, you may classify photographs (cut from magazines or printed from the Internet) of cars, jewelry, foods, or other subjects of your choosing. You may develop a taxonomic chart on a poster board or electronically using software []. Each decision should be a dichotomy (only two choices) as shown in the taxonomy of the wood and metal screws (figure 9.6).

Print out the attached dichotomous key template and construct your own taxonomic key with the material provide. Write your decision questions on the key and place the items on the appropriate branches. Take a photo of your key and submit it online.