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Classifying Dragons Imagine that you are a famous space explorer and biologist. You have recently arrived on the planet Nitram. Your job is to study the Nitramian animals and develop a system for classifying them. You decide to begin your work by classifying Nitram’s dragons. You think that this name is not very scientific. However, you must admit that the animals look a lot like the monsters of Earth legends. You ask the computer to give you a brief summary of all the information it has on Nitramian dragons. The computer produces the following printout. THE DRAGONS OF NITRAM Drako: About 5-6 meters tall. Four legs. 2 batlike wings. Able to fly. Body covered in scales. Lives in mountains. Feeds on large animals. Quetzalcoatl: About 2 meters long. 2 legs. 2 birdlike wings. Able to fly. Green and red feathers. Long feathers of many colors on top of head and around neck. Green scales on snakelike tail. Lives in tropical jungles. Eats fruit and small animals. Sanjorge: About 2-5 meters tall. 4 legs. 2 small batlike wings. Not able to fly. Body has reddish-brown and greenish-brown scales. Lives in mountains. Probably eats animals. Smaug: Largest known dragon. About 6-9 meters tall. 4 legs. 2 batlike wings. Able to fly. Body red, belly orange. Seems to be covered in scales. Extremely aggressive. Lives in mountains. Feeds on large animals, including humans. Tailoong: About 4 meters long. Long, thin, snakelike body covered with gold scales. 4 legs. Lionlike mane of long colorful feathers. Lives in forests near lakes. Feeds on flowers and water plants. Wyvern: About 2-3 meters long. 2 legs. 2 birdlike wings. Able to fly. Head, neck, and tail covered with red, yellow, and brown scales. Long red feathers around base of neck. Wings and body covered with brown feathers. Lives in mountains. Feeds on small animals. May also feed on the remains of dead animals. Your job is to develop a dichotomous key classifying these dragons. You may do this on the back or on another piece of paper.
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