Final Exam Study Guide
What did Linnaeus base his classification system on?
o Physical and structural similarities
What are the taxonomic classification levels from largest to smallest?
o Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.
What information does a cladogram provide? What does a pedigree tell
o Cladogram – uses derived traits to create a branching diagram
o Pedigree – show direct ancestry of an organism from two parents
How do you know, based on their taxonomy, if certain animals are closely
o Animals that are the related the closest to one another are found in same
taxonomic groups, from the domain all the way down to species
What is ecology?
o The study of interactions that take place between organisms and their
What is an abiotic factor? Biotic Factor?
o Abiotic – nonliving parts of an organism’s environment. (Ex: air,
temperature, light, water)
o Biotic – living parts of an organism’s environment (Ex: plant life and
What are the 5 levels of organization in ecology?
o Organism – an individual living thing that is made of cells, uses energy,
reproduces, grows, and develops
o Population – a group of organisms, all of one species, which interbreed
and live in the same place at the same time
o Community – all the populations of different species that live in the same
place at the same time
o Ecosystem – Populations of plants and animals that interact with each
other in a given area and with the abiotic components of that area
o Biosphere – the portion of the Earth that supports life.
What is an organism’s habitat? Its niche? How many organisms can occupy
the same niche without competition taking place?
o Habitat – the place where an organism lives out its life
o Niche – all strategies and adaptations a species uses in its environment
o One organism per niche without competition
What are the three types of symbiosis?
o Mutualism – both species benefit (Ex: Bee pollinating flower and getting
nectar from flower for food)
o Commensalism – one species benefits, other remains neutral (Ex: Bacteria
on human skin. Skin gives bacteria a place to live and feed, human
unharmed by bacteria)
o Parasitism – one species benefits and the other is harmed (Ex: tick feeding
on a human)
What is an autotroph? Heterotroph? Decomposer?
o Autotroph – organism that uses light energy or energy stored in chemical
compounds to make energy-rich compounds. Makes their own food!!!
o Heterotroph – An organism that cannot make its own food and feeds on
other organisms (Ex: tiger)
o Decomposer – break down complex compounds on dead and decaying
plants and animals into simpler molecules that can be more easily
absorbed. (Ex: Club fungus)
Why is an ecosystem generally limited to between three and five trophic
o Only 10% of the energy that is found in a lower trophic level is transferred
to the next trophic level when one organism eats another. By the time you
get to the 3rd trophic level, you only have 1% of the energy you had at the
first trophic level.
A hawk eats a weasel that has eaten a mouse that has eaten grass seeds.
What level consumer is the hawk?
o Grass seeds (Producer)
o Mouse (1st level consumer)
o Weasel (2nd level consumer)
o Hawk (3rd level consumer)
Why are nitrogen fixing bacteria important to sustaining life?
o Plants cannot use nitrogen in the air, but they need nitrogen to survive.
Nitrogen fixing bacteria in the soil convert the nitrogen in the air into
ammonia, which the plants can use in order to survive.
What is the main process by which carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
becomes parts of living things?
What is the main way in which organisms release carbon dioxide into the
How does water reach most terrestrial ecosystems?
What are limiting factors?
o Any biotic or abiotic factor that restricts the existence, numbers,
reproduction, or distribution of organisms (Ex: water availability in an
An area is severely polluted and very few organisms survive. One species
that remains is cockroaches. There is very little pollution fifty miles
downstream of this polluted area, however mayfly larvae are unable to live in
the creek. Why is this?
o When it comes to pollution, cockroaches have a very broad range of
tolerance and are able to survive under basically any conditions where
there is pollution. This is not the case with the mayfly larvae, which have
a narrow range of tolerance with pollution and cannot survive.
A volcano covers an area with molten rock, killing everything for miles
around. There is no soil remaining in the area. What sort of succession
pattern would you expect as organisms recolonize the area?
o Due to the fact that there is no remaining soil, primary succession will take
place. If soil was left after the volcano erupted, secondary succession
would take place.
A forest fire burns many square miles of forest, leaving little alive. The soil
remains, but the trees are gone. What sort of succession pattern would you
expect as organisms recolonize the area?
o Secondary succession because a soil was left behind.
All significantly deep aquatic biomes are divided into photic and aphotic
zones. Based on this fact, what do you think is the major limiting factor in
o Light. Photic zone has it and aphotic zone does not.
What is the difference between aquatic and marine environments?
o Aquatic biomes – all of the biomes on Earth that are composed of water.
o Marine biomes – all saltwater aquatic biomes.
o Freshwater biomes – all freshwater aquatic biomes.
What are the two main limiting factors in terrestrial biomes?
o Temperature and precipitation
Which terrestrial biome is associated with high levels or precipitation and a
o Tropical rain forest
Which terrestrial biome is associated with very low levels of precipitation
and a warm climate?
Which terrestrial biome is associated with very cold temperatures and low
levels of precipitation?
What is Locard’s Principle?
o When two objects come into contact with one another, there is a dual
exchange of particles. (They leave their mark on one another)
What is considered trace evidence?
o Trace evidence - normally caused by objects or substances contacting one
another, and leaving a minute sample on the contact surfaces
o Examples: Blood, fibers, hair, fingerprints
What constitutes a legal search?
o Probable cause determined by a police officer
When can you use forensics?
o Criminal cases
o Document forgery
What does documenting a crime scene include?
o Securing the scene
o Record the scene
o Conduct a systematic search
The majority of fingerprints found at a crime scene are invisible to the naked
eye. What are these prints called?
Why can’t crimes be solved based on fingerprint evidence only?
o Fingerprinting is still not an exact science, so it no enough to convict
someone of a crime by itself.
What are the types of fingerprints?
What are the techniques used for finding fingerprints?
o Ninhydrin solution
o Superglue fuming
What are the two classifications of fibers?
o Natural and man made
List two examples of natural fibers
o Cotton, wool, silk
Name the three patterns of fibers.
o Satin, Plain, Twill
When was the first synthetic fiber developed?
o Rayon in the year 1891
Compare and contrast the characteristics of different fibers.
o Need to focus on color, texture, combustibility, weave pattern, and shape
What must a scientist be able to do in order for fiber evidence to be useful in
o Narrow the fiber down to one source
What are erythrocytes, antigens, antibodies, and anti serums?
o Erythrocytes – red blood cells
o Antigens – found on the red blood cells. Used to determine which blood
type an individual has. For example, if a person has A antigens on their
red blood cells, they have type A blood.
o Antibodies – found in blood, but not on actual blood cells. Basically the
opposite of antigens. If person has type A blood, they have type B
antibodies in their blood.
o Anti serum – Used to test for blood types. Contain high levels of
Explain the role of antigens and antibodies in determining blood type. A
person with A antigens has which type of blood? B antigens? No antigens?
o A antigens = type A blood
o B antigens = type B blood
o No antigens = type O blood
What is the most common blood type in the US?
o Type O
Understand what type of reaction occurs when antisera is added to each
o If antisera are added to a blood, and clumping occurs, the individual has
the blood type that is labeled on the antisera.
What is agglutination and what is its role in blood typing?
o Agglutination = blood clumping
o Role = allows forensic scientists to recognize a blood as a particular type
by adding different anti sera to it.
What are the three layers of hair that are labeled A-C in this picture?
o A = Cuticle
o B = Cortex
o C = Medulla
What is the approximate medullary index of human hair?
Draw a picture of the following medullary patterns
o Continuous (Medulla throughout the entire hair)
o Interrupted (Little breaks in the medulla)
o Fragmented ( About half of the hair has medulla, other half does not)
o Absent (No medulla)
In which layer of the hair is color found in?
o The cortex
Why do certain substances foam and bubble when they react with vinegar?
o A chemical reaction is taking place with the acid vinegar.
Why does a solid form as the result of a reaction between NaOH and another
chemical in solution?
o They react in such a way that a solid forms. This solid is called a
Why is it important to establish the properties of known material before
being able to determine the identity of an unknown?
o The properties of known substances will act as a standard for which you
can use as a reference when testing an unknown substance, to hopefully
figure out what that substance is through comparison.
When phenolphthalein turns a solution pink, does it mean that the solution is
acidic or basic?
Why is the microscope not the best tool to use to determine the identity of
o You are not able to see the various characteristics of each powder. Many
white powders may look similar under the microscope.
Which known substance had a reaction with iodine in our lab?