Species
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Identifying Species Educator\'s Resource

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Identifying Species Educator\'s Resource

  1. 1. Species Identifying BIOBLITZ EducaTOr’S rESOurcE © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students.
  2. 2. Identifying Species > 2 Introduction It takes specialized skills and scientific expertise to correctly identify species. There are millions of species on Earth—between 5 and 30 million —and just 2 million species have been identified and named. That means there are more species that are unknown than known. In addition, some species are so similar that differences are visible only through DNA analysis. The Guided discussion and PowerPoint introduce students to the topic. In the Lab activity, students work with data collected or online resources, identify organisms, and complete Species Identification cards that reflect the diversity of organisms in a selected area. KEy QuESTIOnS: › What is a species? › Why is species identification important? › What steps should you take to identify species? WhaT’S InSIdE Guided Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. Salamander Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Supplemental Media . . . . . . . . . . 5 Lab Activity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Student Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Outline for Guided Discussion . . 9 bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  3. 3. Guided Discussion/PowerPoint > 3 Guided Discussion/PowerPoint Instructional Strategy: Introduce students to the complexities Large-group Instruction; Multimedia Instruction; Discussions 30-45 min facing scientists as they identify species. Materials/Preparation: Discuss how scientists identify species • Go to nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz to download and the challenges they face. Learn about Identifying Species, in PowerPoint format. the All Taxa Biodiversity Index, a 10-year • See Outline for Guided Discussion, p. 9, for a preview of slides and teaching notes. Use this as a inventory of all organisms in Great Smoky reference during the guided discussion. Mountains National Park. • Copy the Purchase Knob Salamander Key, p. 4, one per student or workgroup, to use for an activity introduced on slide 8 of the presentation. Optional: • Incorporate video segments on wildlife research into the discussion. See Supplemental Media, p. 5, for details. © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. Turn to p. 9 for complete outline. bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  4. 4. Guided discussion/Purchase Knob Salamander Key Gills absent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .adult, go to 2 > 1. Gills present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . larva 2. Rear legs larger and longer than front legs; light line from eye back to corner of mouth; often dark brownish over all. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .dusky salamander (Desmognathus), go to 3 > Legs all about same size; line from eye to mouth absent; can be reddish, yellow, golden, gray, black, or variety of colors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . go to 7 > 3. Undersides blackish; back mottled chestnut and green, not in defined spots; tail keeled; sides sometimes with white spots; head big and fat-looking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black-bellied salamander (D. quadramaculatus) Undersides not blackish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . go to 4 > Tips of toes have black friction pads, tail keeled... Black-bellied or Seal salamander . . . . . go to 5 > 4. Tips of toes same color as rest of toe; tail round in cross-section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . go to 6 > 5. Undersides very light, even transparent; mottled back often grading into reddish spots at the tail; often especially bug-eyed and long-snouted; tail keeled . . . . . . . . . Seal salamander (D. monticola) © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. Adapted by permission from the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Undersides light colored, but otherwise better fitting description for black-bellied salamander in (3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Black-bellied salamander Uniformly dark gray or approaching uniform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Imitator salamander (D. imitator) 6. Back usually with reddish and or yellowish stripe, edges either straight or wavy; belly usually gray speckled with white . . . . . . . . . Ocoee salamanader (D. ocoee) or Imitator salamander (D. imitator) Back is mottled olive, sometimes with some chestnut; belly is light colored, usually with yellow under the tail; small white spots along sides of body and usually along sides of head. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Santeetlah salamander (D. santeetlah) 7. Slender and short-legged; yellow; two dark stripes down the sides of its back; look and often move like tiny yellow snakes. . . . . . .Blue ridge Two-lined salamander (E. wilderae) Not especially slender and/or not yellow or striped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . go to 8 > Stout-bodied; red, orange, or pink with speckles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . go to 9 > 8. Slender-bodied; gray or black . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . go to 10 > 9. Reddish with black speckles all over body; black chin; eye yellow or golden, NOT brown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . red salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) Reddish or purple; with black speckles over back; keeled tail; dark lines from eye forward to nose . . . . . . . . . . . . .Spring salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) 10. Uniform black or dark gray with tiny white speckles, especially on back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Southern appalachian salamander (Plethodon teyahalee) Uniform gray or blue-gray without white speckles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Southern Gray-cheeked salamander (Plethodon metcalfi) bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  5. 5. Supplemental Media > 5 Supplemental Media: Wild chronicles Available online at nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz-video. Video segments from National Geographic’s Wild Chronicles are an engaging way to show students pioneering wildlife research from around the planet. Segments can be viewed as an independent activity or incorporated into the Guided Discussion. › discovered in Madagascar › a new Shrew Wild Chronicles joins a National Geographic In Tanzania, National Geographic grantee expedition to Madagascar, where a never- Francesco Rovero discovers a new species of before-seen species of lemur has been giant elephant shrew that is almost twice the discovered. With the help of the locals, the size of other known species. Time: 1:14 researchers try to protect what was recently › On Top of Great Smoky found from being lost forever. Time: 5:09 Scientists discover a new species in the tree › Frog Problems canopy of the Great Smoky Mountains National Frogs have managed to outlive the dinosaurs, Park. Discoveries like these are yet another evolving into a myriad of colorful species. reason why ecosystems up, down, and all However, despite their evolutionary adaptability, around, are worthy of protection. Time: 5:30 frogs now face a phalanx of modern problems, dIScuSSIOn and some worry they need human help to survive. Time: 2:48 • What was discov ered or learned? › Finding the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, again • What is the scie Two years ago, an ivory billed woodpecker — a ntific importance of this finding? bird presumed extinct for nearly 60 years — was spotted in the swamps of eastern Arkansas. • What tools are being used to as Now, a determined team of researchers wants sist wildlife observat to find out if there are enough ivory bills left to ions? reproduce and recover. Time: 6:00 • Is additional re search needed? Why? • What actions ar e being taken to protect this species? credits © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. contributors/consultants The resource was produced by National Geographic Education Programs. © 2009 National Geographic Birgit Buhleier, Remote Imaging Society. All Rights Reserved. Educators may National Geographic Mission Programs design reproduce for students. Project Design Company: Dan Banks, Art Director, Brian Forist, Education Director Kerri Sarembock, Designer Purchase Knob Salamander Key adapted by Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center permission of Appalachian Highlands Science Leslie Ann Pierce, Ed.D., Learning Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Science Education Consultant Image credits Park. Susan Sachs, Education Coordinator Cover, p. 2, Mark Christmas/National Geographic Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center, Society; p. 5, Francesco Rovero; p. 7, Bralt Braids/ content development Great Smoky Mountains National Park National Geographic Society NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EDUCATION PROGRAMS Kimberly Swift, Education Program Manager Kim Hulse, Director, Geography Education Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Amy Grossman, Manager, Educational Media Ivey Wohlfeld, Researcher Tim Watkins, Ph.D., Program Officer Chelsea Zillmer, Copyeditor National Geographic Mission Programs Todd P. Witcher, Executive Director Discover Life in America bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  6. 6. Lab activity > 6 Lab activity: Species Identification Instructional Strategy: 45 min lab Students consult expert resources such Small-group Instruction; Large-group Instruction 10-15 min presentations (optional); Cooperative Strategy Learning as field guides, species keys, or online databases to identify organisms observed Materials/Preparation: in the Plot Study activity. They will use this • Completed Plot Study Datasheets (see Making and Recording Observations) or computers with Internet research to complete species inventory cards, access (see next page for sample resources) creating an inventory that represents the • Expert resources such as field guides, species keys, biodiversity of the area studied. or online databases • Copies of Species Identification Cards, p.8 Optional: • Butcher paper, tape, or glue for student dIrEcTIOnS presentations 1. Introduce. Students will consult expert resources to identify organisms observed in the Plot Study activity and then make species identification cards, creating an inventory representing the diversity of the area studied. If necessary, review elements commonly included on a species identification card (Family, Scientific Name, Common Name(s), Observation Location, Date Observed, Identified By, Detailed Description). Note: If completed Plot Study datasheets are unavailable, direct students to research species lists from a nearby state or national park, or to use one of the Web sites listed on the next page to complete this activity. this! 2. arrange students into workgroups. Continue try workgroups from the Plot Study activity or jigsaw students so that each group is working with data truction: Adapt for Large-group Ins from all plots/groups. ir organisms recorded in the Have students compile the s ster list of all organism 3. distribute materials. Students will need access to datasheets to make a ma organize this list on chart expert resources as well as paper, pens, markers, tape, observed. Students can et. abase, or on a spreadshe glue, etc. Encourage students to use expert resources paper, in a computer dat s to or more organism for research and to incorporate drawings, observations, Next, students select one ce resources, and then produ and photographs in the identification cards. identify, consulting expert © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. Encourage students to a species inventory card. 4. conclude activity with student presentations. Students es, and photographs on include drawings, sketch can present inventories, share findings, and describe their cards. research challenges they may have faced during the r h School Science Teache —Leslie Ann Pierce, Hig project. Remind students there are between 5 and 30 million species, many nearly identical, and that it takes practice and skill to identify species. continued > bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  7. 7. Lab activity > 7 Species Identification, continued resOurces Online sample omic ord and exchange taxon online technology to rec many projects that use ect students There are or dir explore with your class some examples you can information. Below are . to review for extra credit catalogue of Life g) (www.catalogueoflife.or s database, which contain Students can search this n or million species, by commo records for more than a phic cies profile gives geogra scientific name. Each spe n, and links to tion informatio distribution, full classifica other resources. y cornell Lab of Ornitholog (www.birds.cornell.edu) ds h of information about bir Students will find a wealt nds, photos, maps, habitat on this site, including sou tion tips. Students can information, and identifica cies. or select from a list of spe search by species name entory database all Taxa Biodiversity Inv discover Life in america/ ce/atbi_database.shtml) (www.dlia.org/atbi/scien a searchable tains National Park using life in Great Smoky Moun Students can explore s. imated 100,000 organism database containing an est Encyclopedia of Life (www.eol.org) search the s site, where students can cies are catalogued on thi n spe Approximately 1.8 millio ic information for each. find photos, maps, and bas database and ation Infrastructure national Biological Inform (www.nbii.gov) for links to various databases this site offers students on United States biology, ve species © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. asi With a focus logical topics such as inv sms as well as links to eco specific groups of organi n by geographic region. informatio dents can also search for and wildlife diseases. Stu bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  8. 8. Species Identification cards bioblitz > Species Identification Cards bioblitz > Species Identification Cards DESCRIPTION / IMAGE: DESCRIPTION / IMAGE: FAMILy: FAMILy: _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ SCIENTIFIC NAME (GENUS SPECIES): SCIENTIFIC NAME (GENUS SPECIES): _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ COMMON NAME(S): COMMON NAME(S): _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ OBSERvATION LOCATION: OBSERvATION LOCATION: _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ IDENTIFIED By: IDENTIFIED By: _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ DATE OBSERvED: ____/_____/_____ DATE OBSERvED: ____/_____/_____ ! ! bioblitz > Species Identification Cards bioblitz > Species Identification Cards DESCRIPTION / IMAGE: DESCRIPTION / IMAGE: © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. FAMILy: FAMILy: _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ SCIENTIFIC NAME (GENUS SPECIES): SCIENTIFIC NAME (GENUS SPECIES): _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ COMMON NAME(S): COMMON NAME(S): _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ OBSERvATION LOCATION: OBSERvATION LOCATION: _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ IDENTIFIED By: IDENTIFIED By: _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ DATE OBSERvED: ____/_____/_____ DATE OBSERvED: ____/_____/_____ ! ! bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  9. 9. Outline for Guided discussion > 9 Go to nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz to download Outline for Guided discussion Identifying Species, in PowerPoint format. Slide # Slide Notes Start presentation. 1 An inventory is a catalogue of items. A species inventory is a study researchers undertake to identify all the organisms living in a particular place. Species inventories in areas of great biodiversity can take yeas and never be complete. 2 Other species inventories, such as a BioBlitz, are held in 24-hours or less. If students are unfamiliar with salamanders, explain that they are amphibians. Salamanders are sometimes confused with lizards, which are reptiles. 3 Ask students to suggest resources such as libraries, experts, etc. they consult to answer questions. Prompt students to look at the images, noticing similarities (size, shape) and © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. differences (color, markings). Are they the same or different? 4 More research is needed. In this presentation, students will learn what scientists do to identify species and why it is important. bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  10. 10. Outline for Guided discussion > 10 Outline for Guided discussion Slide # Slide Notes This slide is an organizational slide. It introduces a question or topic that will be explored. Encourage students to use the highlighted question to organize their note-taking and conceptual understanding. 5 This is one definition but there are others. Explain that this is a complicated question in biology, with no single answer. Ask, “Why is species identification important to studying 6 biodiversity?” Explain that, once identified, organisms can be monitored over time to track population patterns. Scientists also study associated species to understand the relationship between species in ecosystems. Encourage students to suggest an answer to this question. Additional data: There are an estimated 20,000 species of birds, 5,000 species of frogs, 100,000 species of trees, 5,400 species of mammals, and over one million species of fungi. 7 This is a vast range. Prompt students to suggest some reasons why this range is so large and to suggest some of the challenges scientists might face. These are open-ended © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. questions and there are no right or wrong answers. Next, 8 some reasons will be explored. bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  11. 11. Outline for Guided discussion > 11 Outline for Guided discussion Slide # Slide Notes Species that are scarce are difficult to find. Species that are extinct are no longer alive. Some species are microscopic and require special tools to observe and identify. 9 Because of speciation and biodiversity, there are millions of unique species on Earth. This in itself presents a problem to scientists. Some species live in remote or inaccessible loca- tions and are challenging to find and study. 10 Optional: Watch A New Shrew. See p.4 in the Identifying Spe- cies Educator’s Resource or go to nationalgeographic.com/ bioblitz-video. This slide is an organizational slide. It introduces a question or topic that will be explored. Encourage students to use the highlighted question to orga- 11 nize their note-taking and conceptual understanding. Each chart tracks change in biodiversity between 1970 to 2003. Explain that “1.00” is a baseline. Ask students to analyze the graphs to determine if the trendlines are incres- © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. ing or decreasing (Answer: decreasing). 12 To determine the percentage change, subtract the 2003 number from 1.00 and express the result as a percent- age. For example, from the top chart, 1.00 minus .69 = .31, equivalent to - 31% change. bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  12. 12. Outline for Guided discussion > 12 Outline for Guided discussion Slide # Slide Notes Discuss these goals with students. 13 This slide introduces a set of slides featuring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located near the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. 14 For more information about the All Taxa Biodiversity Index, go to Discovering Life in America, www.dlia.org/atbi. 15 Shown are some of the species found at Great Smokies because of the ATBI. Students can learn more about these species at Discovering Life in America, www.dlia.org/atbi. © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. 16 Optional: Watch On Top of Great Smoky, joining researchers as they discover a new species of slime mold in the Great Smokies. See Identifying Species Educator’s Resource, p. 4, or go to nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz-video. bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  13. 13. Outline for Guided discussion > 13 Outline for Guided discussion Slide # Slide Notes Discuss these findings with students. Optional: Recap previous slides on the Great Smokies and the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, reviewing the problem 17 (What lives in the Great Smokies?), a way to address the problem (start a multi-year species inventory), preliminary findings (many species discovered, some new to science, others new to the park), and why it’s important. This slide is an organizational slide. It introduces a question or topic that will be explored. Encourage students to use the highlighted question to 18 organize their note-taking and conceptual understanding. Return to the question posed in the Warm-Up: How are species identified? Students will learn some steps that can be taken and can 19 practice identifying these specimens using the Purchase Knob Salamander Key. This key is available on p.4 of the Identifying Species Educator’s Resource. Explain that scientific observations are factual, systematic, recorded, shared, quantifiable, lead to the formation of questions and hypotheses, and are detailed. © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. 20 Scientists use geographic data such as location and eleva- tion to record species distribution and make predictions about additional locations where the species might be found. bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz
  14. 14. Outline for Guided discussion > 14 Outline for Guided discussion Slide # Slide Notes Explain that scientists and naturalists apply their own knowledge and use other resources such as field guides, species keys, and species experts to identify specimens. 21 Distribute the Purchase Knob Salamander Key, p. 4 to students. They can use this key to identify these species. Answer: Grynophilus or Spring salmander (L); Santeetlah salamander (R). Review with students. Optional: Point out that an organism can have many common names, depending on location, which can 22 make it difficult to determine which specific organism is being identified. However, an organism has only one scientific name (giving its genus and species). Using the scientific name, researchers can identify a specific organism anywhere in the world, in any language. Close by telling students that new species are named either after the person who made the discovery, the location, or a unique characteristic of the species. Remind students that there are more species that are undiscovered than known. 23 One day, maybe they will discover a species and it will be named after them! © 2009 National Geographic Society; Educators may reproduce for students. 24 bioblitz > identifying species nationalgeographic.com/bioblitz

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