A biological key, also known as an identification key or a dichotomous key, is a way to classify organisms by giving the classifier two options in each stage until identification occurs. For example, in order to identify the tree, a biological key gives two choices – conifer or broadleaf – with a description of each one. Depending on the answer, another question pops up to narrow down the species.Continue Reading
The biological key works by reducing the number of possible identities for a species until the right one is reached by using questions with only two answers, according to Dictionary.com. In order for them to be successful, biological keys must have sound designs. A key needs to be diagnostic, which means that it needs to focus on the characteristics unique to a particular group. A key also needs to be differential, separating a group based on differences. A key needs to be redundant; certain characteristics should be revisited to improve reliability.
Terminology is an important aspect of a biological key. The wording needs to be uniform and consistent throughout the key, and the two possible answers need to parallel each other as much as possible. If a color and blossom size for a flower in one option is given, then the other option also needs to include a color and blossom size.Learn more about Biology
When scientists classify organisms, they are grouping organisms together so they can have a way to study them in a more efficient manner. Since there are millions of organisms on the Earth, it’s much easier to group them together for better research methods.Full Answer >
Stoneflies do most of their eating while they are in the larval stage, during which time they capture and eat other small insects and invertebrates. The adult stage of a stonefly's life cycle is primarily concentrated on breeding, and many species die shortly after breeding. While some adult stoneflies do not eat at all, others consume pollen or algae.Full Answer >
A zygote is the first stage of prenatal development and is just a group of non-differentiated cells. An embryo is much larger and its cells begin to differentiate. The zygote phase is directly followed by the embryo stage.Full Answer >
Prezygotic refers to any stage of the reproductive process before the formation of the zygote, while postzygotic refers to any point of life after the ovum has been fertilized. Both terms are used when describing the fertilization and conception processes.Full Answer >