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?
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UMUC Biology 102/103
Lab 5: Taxonomy
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Experiment 1: Classification of Objects
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
Table 2: Key Characteristics of some organisms
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
3. Do you feel that the questions asked were appropriate? What questions would you have asked?
Is the Object
Straw, Hex Nut,
Is there a hole in or
near the center of
Is the object used
Bead, straw, Nut,
Straw, Hex washer,
W nut, button
Is the object
smooth on the
ink in the
Bead, straw, washer, button
Straw, Washer, Bead,
Is the object
Straw, Bead, Button
Is the object
longer than 5