Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Rachel Tashjian's picture


Kaitlin Cough
Elizabeth Harnett

We went on an extended expedition to Planet Nearer to observe the many forms of plant life. We defined plant life using our experience from Earth. First, we decided if the form came from the ground (in other words, if it had a root system). We also looked at whether or not the form was moving by its own accord (we also took into account the fact that we knew the plant was growing, as it had leaves of varying sizes). Finally, we decided plants were the forms which were green, because although there were similar forms (leaf-like) on the ground, these were brown (which on Earth are considered dead).
Our first Category's plants, Category A, shared several characteristics. They were:
-substantially taller than other categories
-had larger leaves
-possessed trunks, which in turn were encased in an outer shell.
Within Category A, however, there were two sub-categories. The first was characterized by several larger specimens. These four species possessed a straight central trunk that was large and thick, with a very rough outer shell. They were separate and generally stood alone. The second sub-category was, while similar, shorter than the first, with denser foliage that seemed to grow out in a cap like manner rather than straight up. These had not one central trunk but a cluster of several, smaller trunks entwined whose outer shells were thinner and light in color.
Our next category, Category B, shared the following characteristics:
-the plants were found most often on the ground,underneath the category D plants.
-were usually found in shades of vibrant green
-were usually thick, patchy and moist
Many different sub-categories made up Category B. In the first sub-category were plants found at the base of category A plants. They were usually of shades of green, yellow and brown. They were drier and found in patchier clumps. The next sub category was made up of very light, dense and moist patches found around rocks. The next sub-category were found in the moist crevasses of the category A plants, and were found in big, soft thick patches.
Category C plants all shared the following characteristics:
-they were found on Category A plants
-were different shades of light green
-were usually dry and rough in texture
There were three main sub-categories underneath Category C. The first sub-category was made up of plants that were light green, dense and very short-they almost couldn't be seen by the naked eye. The next category was made up with plants of a minty green color, and were found in flat clusters. The final sub-category of plant was also found in clusters, however they were layered and found abundantly on category A plants.
Category D was primarily characterized by the plants' low-lying position. Within this category, we divided plants into two sub-groups using leaf design and stem design. The first group had specimen with stems that had forms splaying out from it (there were 5 specimen in this group). In the second group, there were plants that were essentially simply stems - there were no forms branching out from the original form (there were 2 specimen in this group). In all, there were 7 types in this group.


To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
5 + 8 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.