User:Mark Skaggs/Notebook/Lab Five: Invertebrates

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Objective: To understand how life on Earth has evolved from unicellular organisms into diverse life forms and to identify the importance of invertebrates.


1. Examine live specimen under the dissecting microscope to observe movement relative to body structure.

2. Disassemble the Berlese funnel and pour the top half of the ethanol sample into one petri dish and the bottom half into another.

3. Locate and identify invertebrates under the dissecting microscope.

4. Complete Table One for each of your specimen and measure specimen length under the compound microscope.

Observations, Results, and Conclusion:

While asked to view live specimen under the dissecting microscope to observe movement related to body structure, all specimen were deceased. However, some species were prepared under the microscope.

Planaria with digestive tract stained [1]

Nematode cross-section [2]

Table One: Invertebrate Specimen [3]

The size range of our sample went from .850 mm to 5.5 mm. The smallest being the tick and the largest being the millipede. The most common, however, were ants and termites, depending on if the petri dish was from the top or the bottom of the sample.

Vertebrates noted within the transect include:

Lincoln's Sparrow (Phylum-Chordata, Class-Aves, Order-Passeriformes, Family-Emberizidae, Genus-Melospiza, Species-lincolnii)

Cardinal (Phylum-Chordata, Class-Aves, Order-Passeriformes, Suborder-Passeri, Family-Cardinalidae, Genus-Cardinalis, Species-cardinalis)

Eastern Gray Squirrel (Phylum-Chordata, Class-Mammalia, Order-Rodentia, Family-Sciuridae, Genus-Sciurus, Subgenus-Sciurus, Species-carolinensis)

Raccoon (Phylum-Chordata, Class-Mammalia, Order-Carnivora, Family-Procyonidae, Genus-Procyon, Species-lotor)

Brown Rat (Phylum-Chordata, Subphylum-Vertebrata, Class-Mammalia, Order-Rodentia, Family-Muridae, Subfamily-Murinae, Genus-Rattus, Species: norvegicus)

The lincoln sparrow and the cardinal both benefit from the high trees. They may fly down to feast on the invertebrates below but are inaccessible to predators. The Eastern gray squirrel also inhabits the trees and uses them as its main source of food. The raccoon and the brown rat scavenge for food whenever and wherever possible. Some sources have shown that both will eat birds and bird eggs if they can.

Food web based on above species: [4]

Sources Cited:

"Birds of DC." Encyclopedia of Life. accessed 17 July 2014 at <>. "Eastern Gray Squirrel." Encyclopedia of Life. accessed 17 July 2014 at <>. "Northern Raccoon." Encyclopedia of Life. accessed 17 July 2014 at <>. "Brown Rat." Encyclopedia of Life. accessed 17 July 2014 at <>.