Dictionary > Dichotomous key

Dichotomous key

Definition
noun
A reference tool where a series of choices between alternative characters leads progressively to the identification of the species.
Supplement
A dichotomous key is usually a written device constructed from a series of highly organized statements arranged into couplets. A couplet consists of (typically) two descriptions which should represent mutually exclusive choices (often it is a particular combination of characteristics that determines the difference). Both choices are read and compared with the specimen to be identified. Once a decision is made, that selection directs you to another couplet (either the next in order or one further on in the key), and this process is repeated until a conclusion (successful identification) is reached.
Word origin: Latin dichotomos, Greek dichótomos.
Compare: polytomous key


You will also like...

Freshwater Ecology
Freshwater Ecology

Freshwater ecology focuses on the relations of aquatic organisms to their freshwater habitats. There are two forms of co..

Growth and Plant Hormones
Growth and Plant Hormones

Plants, like animals, produce hormones to regulate plant activities, including growth. They need these hormones to respo..

vitamins
A Balanced Vitamin Diet – Vitamins A – K

A balanced diet is essential to a healthy organism. Insufficiency or too much of a particular element or compound, such ..

Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung
Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

In this tutorial, the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud are described. Both of them actively pursued the way h..

An artist's depiction of the origin of amphibians
Amphibians & Early Reptiles

Obtaining air outside an aquatic environment required species to acquire suitable adaptations, and this was the case of ..

Chemical effects on plant growth and development
Effect of Chemicals on Growth & Development in Organisms

Plants and animals need elements, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium for proper growth and developme..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics