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Old 07-28-2010, 12:08 AM   #9
erictjohnson
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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The assignment is too general and not sufficiently focused. Insects are animals, as well as creatures with fur, scales, shells, and feathers. I would be hard pressed to name all of the insects that visit our backyard, & I have been living here for 20 years, and paying attention to the critters that make a home here. A true survey as outlined above would be a serious research project that might occupy a team of scientists a year or two. Since many animals come & go on a seasonal basis, at least 12 months would be required to be sure of counting everyone. If there is a stream, pond, or lake, a method of underwater observation would have to be used. To do good science, both scope and resources must be considered, upfront. Did the instructor mean to include microbes as well? I don't see how you can omit fungi, bacteria, single cell eukaryotes, and algae, since all of these play an ecological role. Perhaps she could visit a university, and speak with an actual ecologist, and find out what such a project entails.
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