Using and Constructing a Classification Key
Analysis and Conclusions
1. As you used the classification key to identify the salamanders, did you go from general to specific characteristics or from specific to general characteristics?
2. What two groupings do the scientific names of the salamanders represent?
3. Was the classification key you constructed exactly like those of other students? Explain why or why not.
4. If you were using actual wildflowers, what other characteristics could you use to identify them?
Critical Thinking and Application
1. Do you think that there may be some closely related species of organisms that cannot be identified with a classification key? Explain your answer.
2. Why do you think biological classification keys always present two, rather than some other number, of choices at each step?
3. What types of problems would scientists have today if Carolus Linnaeus had not developed his classification and naming system for organisms?
4. Explain what is meant by the statement "Classification systems are the inventions of humans; diversity is the product of evolution.".