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3. Pick 10 household items (e.g. spoon, book, paper clip, etc.) and design a taxonomic classification system to categorize them. 4. Can you devise a different classification system for the objects used in this experiment that would distinguish each in as many, or fewer steps?
Lab5.doc

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UMUC Biology 102/103
Lab 5: Taxonomy
INSTRUCTIONS:

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Experiment 1: Classification of Objects
Questions
1. Did you find that the items grouped together as you worked down the flow chart had similar
characteristics in terms of their appearance? What about function?

Many of the grouped items had similar characteristics as well as function until you went further
down the list of questions. For example, a pen and a pencil are both used for writing but when
asked if the items contained permanent ink, you were then able to separate the two.
2. Do you feel that the questions asked were appropriate? What questions would you have asked?
What objects would be grouped together with your system?

At first, I was a bit confused and I made a few mistakes. After re-reading the questions and
going back over the chart, I realized that most of the questions had a logical flow.

Some of the questions were fine but the first question was a bit difficult. I would not consider a
hex nut cylindrical or round. I also was a confused because a marble is not cylindrical or round
but is spherical. In addition, some styles of pencils have many sides like a hex nut and a pen

comes in many shapes and sizes as well.

A hex nut does have a hole in the center but that question was asked later on.

The first questions could have been written as: Are any of the objects spherical, cylindrical or
round. A little less confusing and you can easily place most of these items quickly.

3. Pick 10 household items (e.g. spoon, book, paper clip, etc.) and design a taxonomic classification
system to categorize them, similar to the one in figure 15.2.

4. Can you devise a different classification system for the objects used in this experiment that would
distinguish each in as many, or fewer steps?

Experiment 2: Classification of Organisms
Procedure
Table 2: Key Characteristics of some organisms
Defined
Nucleus

Organism

Kingdom

E. coli

Bacteria

Protozoa

Protist

Mushroom

Fungi




Sunflower

Plant



Bear

Animal



Mobile

Cell Wall

Photosynthesi
s

Unicellular
















Questions
1. Did this series of questions correctly organize each organism? Why or why not?

2. What additional questions would you ask to further categorize the items within the kingdoms (hint:

think about other organisms in the kingdom and what makes them different than the examples used
here)?

3. Do you feel that the questions asked were appropriate? What questions would you have asked?

Figure 2
START
Is the Object
Cylindrical or
Round?

No

Yes

Ruler

Straw, Hex Nut,
Washer, Bead,
Button, Marker,
Marble, Pencil

Is there a hole in or
near the center of
the object?

No

Marker, Marble,
Pencil, permanent
marker,
Pencil
marble

Is the object used
for writing?

Yes

Bead, straw, Nut,
Straw, Hex washer,
hexasher, Bead,
W nut, button

No

Yes

Button

Pencil,
Marker, Pencil

Marble
Marble

permanent
marker

Is the object
smooth on the
outside (no
angles)?
Is there
permanent
ink in the
object?

No

Yes

Bead, straw, washer, button
Straw, Washer, Bead,
Button

Hex nut
Hex Nut

No
Yes

Washer
Washer

Is the object
metal?

Ye
s
Straw, Bead, Button
Bead, straw,
button

Yes

Straw
Straw

Pencil

Marker

No

Bead, button
Bead, Button
Is the object
longer than 5
cm?

Pencil
Permanent
Marker

Does the
object have
more than
one hole?

No
Bead

Bead

No
Button
Button

Yes

Figure 3

Kingdom: Protist
Kingdom: Plant

Protozoa

Sunflower
Kingdom: Animal
Bear
Kingdom: Fungi
Mushroom
Yes
Yes
No
No
Performs
Photosynthesis?

Cell Wall?

Yes

No

Mobile?
Kingdom: Bacteria
E. Coli

Yes
No

Defined
Nucleus?

START
HERE

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