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P'once a little time there was a girl. This girl grew up to be a Mamma to three little girls all very much like herself. And this little Mamma knew she just had to have a place of her own to keep all things home school right at her fingertips.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Taxonomic Key for the Burgess Animal Book

 I thought about doing something like this when we read Dr. Doolittle last year, of course we weren't quite into taxonomy yet; I opted for a much simpler project at the time of sorting pictures of the animals by the characteristics of Reptiles, Birds, Fish and Mammals. So imagine my excitement when I found this posted by Kelly Kenar on Ambleside. This is such a great resource I had to copy and paste. We are studying Taxonomy this year and love Burgess book characters.

Taxonomic Key for the Burgess Animal Book

A breakdown of the animals detailed in that book by Order, and then further by families within those Orders.
There were a few things I needed to juggle to fit "Mother Nature"'s classifications into the more modern system. For instance, I kept wondering at the many mice that are discussed in the Burgess Animal Book which I couldn't find in either my Peterson's Field Guide Coloring book or my Audobon First Field Guide to Mammals. So after scratching my head a bit, I moved on to the voles, only to find that voles weren't covered AT ALL in the Burgess Animal Book. Turns out that all those voles used to be classified as mice, and voila!!, there were all those missing mice. Where names have changed over the course of time, I've referenced the modern name, followed in parentheses by the name used by Burgess.
The classifications as I've outlined are as close to the modern rendering as I could manage given my limited knowledge and resources in this area. I think they're pretty close. Let me emphasize that, even if you don't plan on doing any type of visual taxonomic key as I've outline on 5/16, this information will be very valuable in giving you more up-to-date information on the somewhat dated classification information in this book. Naturally, all the observational data about animal habits, etc., will not have changed ;-).
Numbers given behind most animal names are the reference numbers used in the Peterson Field Guide Coloring Book, ISBN 0-395-32521-8. I hope this is helpful to those delving into Year 2. - Kelly
Burgess Animal Book classification outline for animals of the
     Kingdom Animalia
     Phylum Chordata
     Subphylum Vertebrata
     Class Mammalia
     Subclass Eutheria (except the Opossum)
I. Order Lagomorpha
   A. Rabbits
          1. Eastern Cottontail (31)
          2. Marsh Rabbit (32)
   B. Hares
          1. Northern Hare (34)
          2. Swamp Hare (33)
          3. Arctic Hare (36)
          4. White-tailed Jackrabbit (39)
          5. Antelope Jackrabbit (37)
          6. Black-tailed Jackrabbit (38)
   C. Pika (25)
II. Order Rodentia
   A. Squirrels
          1. True Squirrels
               a. Tree Squirrels
                  i. Eastern Gray Squirrel (60)
                  ii. Red Squirrel (67)
                  iii. Fox Squirrel (61)
                  iv. Abert's Squirrel (63)
                  v. Kaibab Squirrel (64)
               b. Rock Squirrels
                  i. Eastern Chipmunk (45)
               c. Ground Squirrels
                  i. Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel (50)
                  ii. California Ground Squirrel (56)
          2. Marmots
               a. Woodchuck (49)
               b. Hoary Marmot (47)
          3. Flying Squirrels
               a. Northern Flying Squirrel (65)
          4. Prairie Dogs
               a. Black-tailed Prairie Dog (58)
   B. Misc. Large Rodents
          1. Mountain Beaver (41)
          2. Porcupine (40)
          3. American Beaver (42)
          4. Muskrat (88)
   C. Rats and Mice
          1. Rats
               a. Brown or Norway Rat (91)
               b. Hispid Cotton Rat (73)
               c. Eastern Woodrat (74)
          2. Kangaroo Rats
               a. Plains Pocket Gopher (71) -- Chapter 10
               b. Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat (70)
               c. Silky and Spiny Pocket Mice -- California Pocket Mouse (72) is an example
          3. Mice
               a. White-footed or Deer Mouse (77)
               b. Woodland Jumping Mouse (80)
               c. Pinyon Mouse (called Rock Mouse) (79)
               d. Beach Mouse
               e. Grasshopper Mouse (81)
               f. Harvest Mouse
               g. House Mouse (90)
          4. Voles
               a. Meadow Vole (Meadow Mouse) (84)
               b. Banded or Collared Lemming (86)
               c. Woodland Vole (Pine Mouse) (85)
               d. Southern Red-backed Vole (Red-backed Mouse) (83)
               e. Red Tree Vole (Rufous Tree Mouse) (82)
III. Order Insectivora
   A. Shrews
          1. Least Shrew (3)
          2. Short-tailed Shrew (5)
          3. Water Shrew (6)
   B. Moles
          1. Eastern Mole (7)
          2. Hairy-tailed Mole (10)
          3. Townsend's Mole (9)
          4. Star-nosed Mole (8)
IV. Order Chiroptera (bats)
   A. Red Bat (19)
   B. Little Brown Myotis (13)
   C. Big Brown Bat (17)
   D. Silver-haired Bat (15)
   E. Hoary Bat (18)
   F. Spotted Bat (21)
V. Order Carnivora
   A. Weasels
          1. Skunks
               a. Striped Skunk (138)
               b. Hog-nosed Skunk (140)
               c. Spotted Skunk (137)
          2. Badger (136)
          3. Wolverine (134)
          4. True Weasels
               a. Ermine (132)
               b. New York Weasel
               c. Long-tailed Weasel (133)
               d. Least Weasel (131)
               e. Black-footed Ferret (135)
               f. Mink (130)
          7. Otters
               a. River Otter (141)
               b. Sea Otter - (Chapter 40) (142)
          8. Martens
               a. American Marten (128)
               b. Fisher (129)
   B. Dogs
          1. Foxes
               a. Red Fox (119)
               b. Gray Fox (114)
               c. Swift Fox (called Kit or Swift Fox) (116)
               d. Kit Fox (called Desert Fox) (115)
               e. Arctic Fox (118)
          2. Coyote (117)
          3. Gray Wolf (113)
   C. Cats
          1. Bobcat (149)
          2. Lynx (148)
          3. Mountain Lion (144)
          4. Jaguar (143)
          5. Ocelot (146)
          6. Jaguarundi (147)
   D. Raccoons
          1. Racoon (127)
          2. Ringtail (125)
   E. Bears
          1. Black Bear (120)
          2. Grizzly Bear (122)
               a. Alaska Brown Bear (124)
          3. Polar Bear (121)

VI. Subclass Metatheria (marsupials)
   A. Opossum (1)
VII. Order Artiodactyla
   A. Deer
          1. White-tailed Deer (167)
          2. Black-tailed Deer (166)
          3. Mule Deer (165)
          4. Elk (Wapiti) (164)
          5. Moose (168)
          6. Caribou
               a. Woodland Caribou (162)
               b. Barren Ground Caribou (163)
   B. Pronghorn (called antelope) (169)
   C. Bovids
          1. Bison (170)
          2. Muskox (172)
          3. Bighorn (173)
          4. Mountain Goat (171)
   D. Collared Peccary (160)
VIII. Order Edentalia
          1. Armadillo (2)
IX. Order Pinnipedia
   A. Eared Seals
          1. Walrus (153)
          2. California Sea Lion (151)
          3. Northern Sea Lion (called Stellar Sea Lion) (152)
          4. Northern Fur Seal (150)
          5. Elephant Seal (154)
   B. Earless Seals
          1. Harbor Seal (159)
          2. Ringed Seal
          3. Harp Seal (156)
          4. Ribbon Seal (158)
X. Order Sirenia
   A. Manatee (155)


  1. We are using Burgess Animal book for the second time around this year... I used this taxonomy chart with my boys a few years ago! SO helpful! I've posted today with a bunch of online resources, just in case you're interested :)

    amy in peru

  2. Thanks so much for the comment and the link! I'm sure I'll be checking back in with your resources. They look great!
    amy in italy ;)

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a lot of time you have saved us. We are reading the Animal Book right now and it is a pity not to do taxonomy. The book really renders itself to the study of taxonomy... Thank you again!!


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