Dichotomous Keys

Keys are used to identify organisms according to their physical features.

Tree keys have branches, much like a tree, and ask a series of yes or no questions.

A Linked Key: This key is laid out as a series of questions:

1.  Is it a mammal?

Yes: go to Q 2

No: go to Q 3

2. Does it have a big bushy tail?

Yes: it’s a squirrel

No: it’s an orangutan

3. Does it have visible wings?

Yes: it’s a Giant Swallowtail

No: got to Q4

4. Does it have long hind legs?

Yes: it’s a grasshopper

No: Go to Q5

5.  Is it red with black patches?

Yes: it’s a fire bug

No: it’s a dogbane

A nested key: lists similar organism and then makes statements so you can sort the organisms:

1. Mammals

 Small. bushy tail ………………………………………   Squirrel

Large, no tail ……………………………………………Orangutan

 

2. Insects

Beetle, red with black patches ……………………… Fire Bug

Beetle, multicoloured...……………………………..…Dogbane

Large wingspan, yellow stripes ………………………Giant Swallowtail

Large hind legs, wings, yellow body …………………Grasshopper

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