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Chapter: Biology Practicals: Biology Activities with Specimens

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Investigation of Division Coniferophyta

Conifers are shrubs and trees with needle shaped leaves found in cool climates like Iringa, Mbeya and Ruvuma.

Investigation of Division Coniferophyta

Conifers are shrubs and trees with needle shaped leaves found in cool climates like Iringa, Mbeya and Ruvuma. Their reproductive structures are cones. Male cones are smaller in size, closely packed, and produce pollen grains. Female cones are larger in size, openly packed to receive pollen grains, and produce naked seeds. This activity is especially easy for students to conduct and can be conducted in groups or individually depending on the number of specimens available.

Learning Objectives

To explain the general and distinctive features of Division Conifero-phyta.

Materials

Razor blades

Specimens

Instructions for collecting and preserving these specimens.

One specimen from Phylum Coniferophyta.

Hazards and Safety

Razor blades are extremely sharp and should be used with care to prevent injury.

Preparation Procedure

1.           Collect a few branches from a conifer tree with both male and female cones. If no conifer trees are available, use dried specimens.

Activity Procedure

1.           Observe branches of conifers, their leaves, and their cones. Then draw what is seen and identify the male and female cones.

2.           Cut a longitudinal section of male and female cones using a razor blade.

3.           Observe the internal parts of the male and female cones, drawing a diagram of each.

Results and Conclusion

You should understand where conifers are found and how they reproduce. You should also be able to identify male and female cones and state the differences between them.

Clean Up Procedure

1.           Place conifer specimens in a cool, dry place to use for future activities. No special waste disposal required.

Notes

Conifers may be difiult to find in some areas. Therefore, teachers should dry these specimens when they are found so they may be used repeatedly.

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