5.5 Classification

Classifying organisms helps us see the beauty in life!

Classifying organisms helps us see the beauty in life!, from XKCD.com, MrT’s favourite webcomic

Here is the class presentation:

And this task:

And Crash Course (some of) it here:

Work through this Essential Biology 5.5 Classification as you go through the presentation.

There are some activities you can download here:

Invertebrate phyla cards and dichotomous key

Paired groups key-making activity: Spiders vs Beetles

Butterfly Chart, of species at Taman Kupu2 Cihanjuang

The Queensland Government Shark ID guide.

And here are the Click4Biology notes

There is also a great Environmental Science course online here: The Habitable Planet


How many species are there on Earth?

A good question, and the subject of much research. This recent paper on PLOS Biology estimates 8.7 million. For a good write-up of the story, including an explanation of the diagram below, head over to Carl Zimmers’ The Loom blog:

Currently known and predicted animal species. By the Census of Marine Life, reposted via Carl Zimmer's The Loom

Currently known and predicted animal species. By the Census of Marine Life, reposted via Carl Zimmer’s The Loom


Here is a terrible pun, which you’ll only get if you understand the plant phyla:

A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal Brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo looked him in the eye and said, “Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don’t need enemas.”

And if you didn’t get that, you might have a smile at Debra the Zonkey (or Zedonk):

The Zedonk, proving that stripy socks are so in this season. From TreeHugger – click to go there.

Classify this monster jellyfish:

  1. bioknowledgy

    Hi Steve,

    I noted i minor mistake(?) in your class presentation: arachnids have a cephalothorax (fused thorax and head) whereas in insects the head and thorax are separate.

  2. Dear Stephen I am writing from Peru, I liked very much your videos and your website, my final exam is in two weeks and thank you for everything 🙂

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