RECORDED: Animal Classification (Class 5 of 8)

Let's take a look at some of the worlds oddest animals!

Here is this week's homework:

Create and classify your own animal

Imagine that you are a biologist studying animals in the wild. One day, while lying in your viewing spot, you see an animal you have never seen before. You rush back to your tent and look through your encyclopedia of animals, growing more and more excited as you realize that you have discovered a new species! As the discoverer of this new species, you get the honor of naming it. Of course, being a fantastic scientist, you will follow the classification system in place. That means that the only part of the animal's name you will make up yourself is the actual species name.

You go back to the Animal Diversity Web to find the closest animal you can find to the one you discovered. For example, if the animal you have discovered looks a lot like a panther, look up "panther" on the website.

So get a clear picture of your animal in your mind. Is it a mammal? a fish? a bird? This works best if you create an animal that is similar to your favorite animal you chose earlier, but yet slightly different. Draw a picture of your new animal.

List the animal's classification. Remember, its classification should be the same as the animal you found that is almost the same as this one. The only difference will be the species.

Look at several other species within the genus so that you can think of something that makes your animal slightly different than any other species in the genus. For example, it could be a different color or eat something different or live on a different continent.

What is your species' distinguishing characteristic?

After you have classified your animal, including creating a species name, go back and label your picture with one thing from each level that is unique to that classification. For example, if your animal is in phylum Chordata, draw a line to the animal's backbone and write, "Phylum Chordata - backbone." Do this for at least four levels. Look back to the Animal Diversity website you used before to search each of those levels. It will tell you what characteristics are typical of that classification. You may also use an encyclopedia to help you.

See the example below.

Get creative! I'd love to see what animals you can come up with!!!