Classification of Species exercise
Classification of Species Lab

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Lab Report

Name: ________________________
Section: ___________________

Classification of Species
Exercise 1 - Classification of Sharks
Using the Key to the Classification of Sharks by Family, identify the family for the sharks
pictured in Figure 5 and record the family in the table below.
Classification of Shark Family Specimens
Shark #

Family Name

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14

Questions:
1. What eight characteristics are used to identify the family of a shark (e.g., the shape of the
body, etc.)?

2. What is the main structural characteristic that distinguishes shark number 12 from shark
1

number 7?

3. What is the main structural characteristic that distinguishes shark number 9 from shark
number 13?

4. What type of characteristics do you think would be used to distinguish between the sharks
into a specific genus?

5. What improvements could be made to this shark dichotomous key?

Exercise 2 – Classification of a Fictional New Family
Questions:
1. After arranging the fossil members of the Crawlas phylum, which of the examples is the
youngest species?

2. What two fossil members are the oldest specimens?

3. List two structural similarities that the fossil members share.

4. List two structural differences the fossil members share.
5. Use the dichotomous key to identify each living family Crawla in Figure by correct genus
and species based on structural similarities and differences. Record the genus and species
name in the table below.

Lab Report

Name: ________________________
Section: ___________________

Classification of Specimens from the Crawla Family
Crawla #

Species Name

Genus Name

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

6. Develop a hypothesis regarding the evolutionary links between the fossil and living
specimens based on the classification system used in this exercise.

3

7. Were some of the living Crawlas placed in the same species? If so, do you think the
similarities warranted classification in one species? Explain why or why not.
8. Were the characteristics of all of the living specimens able to fit in the key, or were there
some specimens that were difficult to place? Explain your answer.

9. Were the characteristics of all of the fossil specimens able to fit in the key, or were there
some specimens that were difficult to place? Explain your answer.

10. What is/are the main structural differences between living Crawlas number 1 and number 13?

11. Speculate and describe four structural characteristics that modern taxonomist would use to
classify “real” insects into their proper genus and species.