10. How is a key helpful in the identification and classification of an organism?
Key is another taxonomical aid used for identification of plants and animals based on the similarities and dissimilarities. The keys are based on the contrasting characters generally in a pair called couplet. It represents the choice made between two opposite options. This results in acceptance of only one and rejection of the other. Each statement in the key is called a lead. Separate taxonomic keys are required for each taxonomic category such as family, genus and species for identification purposes. Keys are generally analytical in nature. Flora, manuals, monographs and catalogues are some other means of recording descriptions. They also help in correct identification. Flora contains the actual account of habitat and distribution of plants of a given area. These provide the index to the plant species found in a particular area. Manuals are useful in providing information for identification of names of species found in an area. Monographs contain information on any one taxon.