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.Know More
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
Taxonomy, the science of classifying organisms, is based on phylogeny. Phylogeny attempts to establish the evolutionary history of a species, and taxonomy classifies organisms by this history.Full Answer >
Biological disasters are outbreaks of diseases or contagions of plant and animal life on an epidemic or pandemic level or infestations of animal or insect life on an epidemic or pandemic level. Examples of biological disasters include cholera and influenza H1N1 (swine flu).Full Answer >
Biological evidence in forensic science includes organic materials, such as blood, semen, hair, saliva and skin tissue. Forensic scientists use fingernail scrapings and bone to identify victims and criminals. Biological evidence is extremely important in cases of sexual assault and violent crimes.Full Answer >
Biological inheritance is broadly defined as physical heredity. Heredity, or inheritance in the biological sense, refers to the physical features that offspring inherit from their parents, such as eye color, shape of nose and mouth, height and other distinguishing physical characteristics.Full Answer >