Natural History

Week 2: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 3: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 4: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 6: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 7: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 8: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 9: Interlude - To Experience Nature
Week 10: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENT
Week 11: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENTS
Week 12: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENTS
Appendix #1 - Natural History Books
Appendix #2 - Index of Nature Poems
Appendix #3 - Selected Outlines of Living Things

Day 2: Taxonomy

Words

Taxonomy is the naming of organisms, and systematics is studying how they are related evolutionarily. Of all the groups of organisms, perhaps insect groups are the best for a naturalist to learn early, because insects are so diverse and because knowing the orders is a huge step towards understanding insects. The difference between a roach, a bug, and a fly among insects is at the same taxonomic level as the difference between a gull and a robin in birds, or between carnivores and monkeys in mammals. We’ll take advantage of a portion of materials from an entomology course at the University of Illinois that gives a brief overview of the main orders of insects.

Reading: “Insect Orders 1 – Entognatha to Blattaria (UIllinois Applied Entomology)” 

Reading: “Insect Orders 2 – Isoptera to Hemiptera (UIllinois Applied Entomology)” 

Reading: “Insect Orders 3 – Thysanoptera to Coleoptera (UIllinois Applied Entomology)” Reading: “Insect Orders 4 – Hymenoptera (UIllinois Applied Entomology)

Reading: “Insect Orders 5 – Trichoptera and Lepidoptera (UIllinois Applied Entomology)” Reading: “Insect Orders 6 – Siphonaptera and Diptera (UIllinois Applied Entomology)

 

Works

Focus on names and groups today. Perhaps learn an order or family that the organisms you find fall into. Wildflower guides generally give families, for instance, and knowing these can help you identify other members of those families.