Alien Taxonomy Project


Alien Taxonomy


In the year 2525:

Humans, after hundreds of years of constant effort, have successfully polluted all bodies of water on Earth. As a result, almost all previously known species of plants, animals, and other life forms have become extinct. Through natural selection, genetic engineering, and selective breeding programs, a portion of the Earth has been successfully repopulated. The following organisms are all that remain:

  1. Photosynthetic humanoids with green chlorophyll-containing hair (autotrophs)
  2. Chemosynthetic dolphin-like organisms who derive their energy for food production from the contaminants in the water (autotrophs)
  3. Aquatic humanoids who work on the dolphin’s aquaculture farms (heterotrophic)
  4. Aqua wheat, a heterotrophic crop grown by the dolphins that feeds on bacteria
  5. Legless, photosynthetic humanoid space travelers with arm-like tentacles that visit the Earth every 6 weeks
  6. Anaerobic humanoids designed for space living, but when on Earth for space training, they must wear deoxygenated space suits (heterotrophs)
  7. Cockroach-like organisms that feed on humanoid and dolphin excrement (Decomposers)
  8. Heterotrophic giant squids that feed on humanoids & dolphins
  9. Green-skinned, photosynthetic rats
  10. Parasitic mosquitoes that feed on humanoids

Your Assignment:

As an alien taxonomist, it is your responsibility to classify these existing organisms.

  1. Create Latin-sounding Genus and species names for each organism. Remember that the species name should reflect a characteristic of the organism.
  2. Create a taxonomic scheme for each organism including a kingdom, phylum, and the genus and species name you created. Use only two kingdoms that you create. Be sure to also include the number of the organism with the scheme
  3. Illustrate your interpretation of each organism’s appearance including all the characteristics given to you.  All illustrations should be numbered and colored on a single sheet of unlined paper.
  4. Prepare a dichotomous key using the scientific names for these organisms so that your fellow aliens can also identify them when they come to Earth for summer vacations. 
  5. Make a cover sheet with your name, date, and period and paper clip your sheets together.