Classification Lab Key

 
 
DIRECTIONS: Always begin with Number 1 here. For each number, pick that lettered choice that best describes the organism you are identifying. Each choice is a link that will send you on to another numbered line in the key, where you will make more choices. For each number, you must choose a lettered choice before you go on.

As you work your way through the key, you will be given the taxonomic groups (in colored bold letters) to which your organism belongs, first the large, general ones, then more and more specific.  The only groups not labeled are the species, but they should be recognizable for being italicized and for following the binomial nomenclature rules.  For the lab exercise, write these down on your answer sheet. If you come to sub- or supergroups, insert them between the appropriate groups in the order that you reach them. Whenever a choice ends with a group name rather than a new number (or you cannot find a match in a group noted to be incomplete), you have taken that organism as far as it can be keyed here - make certain that there are no blank levels above the level that you have stopped on.  This key is meant to be readable to non-experts, and wherever a term must be used, it is given in bold type where the definition occurs.  Pathways "dead-end" where further progress requires advanced terminology or analysis.  

Use your key numbers to keep track of your path - you may need to retrace if you have gone the wrong way or forgotten to write down a taxonomic group.  On your first way through, click on links even though they may be moving you just to the next line - links with changed colors will reveal your pathway if you get lost.

 

 
     
START HERE -


1a. Tiny. Invisible or barely visible to the naked eye .....................................  2

1b. Large enough for a shape to be seen by eye..........................................  4



2a.
Single-celled. Small, usually rounded or squarish, with a smooth outer
 border;
  may have some projections............................................................... 3

2b. Multi-celled. Cells, especially nuclei, may be visible through a 
microscope; may
have layers or systems; could have complex 
covering, like plates; couldhave antennae, jointed legs................................. 4



3a
.
Does not have a nucleus. Mostly found in extreme environments -
 
hot springs, hydrothermal vents, deep rock, etc....         Kingdom Archaea 
            Info Link

3b. Does not have a nucleus. Includes bacteria and blue-green algae. 
               .......................................................................         Kingdom Monera

3c. Has at least one nucleus in its cell; often capable of movement.
                ..............................  Kingdom Protista, Subkingdom Protozoa



4a
.
Superficially plant-like but not green; absorbs nutrients from 
immediate environment; not mobile; cell walls of chitin..  Kingdom Fungi

4b. Green, with photosynthetic chloroplasts in cells; cell walls of 
cellulose; not
mobile......................................................... Kingdom Plantae

4c. Usually mobile; cells lack walls; not photosynthetic; ingests and digests
food....................................................................................Kingdom Animalia


 

 

 

References and further information for instructors are available here.

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First Written 1986;  Last Update 2006;  Web Version 2001,  M. McDarby

 

 

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