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  Seaweek 2005 - Save Our Sharks    

What shark is that?

A Shark Classification Key Activity
Courtesy of Wet Paper Publications

Your task is to classify each of the sharks shown to the right to the order level. To do this you will need a dichotomous key (see next page.)

A dichotomous key is a tool used to identitify animals, plants and more by going through a series of choices that leads the user to the correct name of the item.

At each step, the user is usually given two contrasting choices; each alternative leads to another question until the organism is identified. The word "Dichotomous" is taken from a Greek word and means "divided in two parts".

Figure 1 shows photographs of sharks belonging to 8 major Orders and Figure 2 shows the major features of sharks.

On the following pages, move your mouse over each shark photograph for clues.

Classify Shark A

Fig 1. Eight different sharks representing
major shark groups (Orders).
Note: Colours are approximations

Figure 2. Major external features of sharks
Image courtesy of Wet Paper Publications

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Save Our Sharks March 6 to 13, 2005