In the animal kingdom, you can place animals in categories based on certain differences in the characteristics that each possesses. If you know what critical traits to look for, it is possible to separate any animal into its proper taxonomic category. Use this dichotomous key to help determine the taxonomic category to which a specific organism belongs.
organism 1 is a starfish
organism 2 is a bird
organism 3 is a frog
organism 4 is a shark
organism 5 is a monkey
organism 6 is a spider
organism 7 is a tortise
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Constructing Dichotomous Keys
A dichotomous key when used allows you to identify which taxonomic group to put an organism into.
For example is an animal a mammal, a fish or an insect.
If it does belong to one of these taxonomic groups why does it belong there?
The organisms that belong in a particular taxonomic group must be placed there because they have similar/ shared features.
The way to decide on groups is not just to randomly assign them but to ask questions which have either a yes or no answer.
For example below is shown a simple reason for putting vertebrate animals in to their appropriate group.
This may look a simple version but uses the same logic as the ...
This solution clearly explains the function of a dichotomous key and also how to construct one. Multiple examples are given and a dichotomous key is is created for the organisms in the question set. Site links are included for further topic exploration.