Images: cliff1066 (flamingo) and Er. We (dragonfly) / flickr.com
Starting with just a photograph, how do I come up with information on my species? How can I come up with ideas for a proposal?
First, study your photograph. What about the animal is interesting? Unique? Is there anything about the morphology that looks important for its survival or reproduction? Are there any behaviours evident in the photograph that might serve a purpose? Write down some notes before you start your research.
Then, research your species. Use the following tutorial to help you come up with keywords to use in a web or library search. When in doubt, try something - you might be surprised with what you come up with.
Finally, think about the facts you learn while researching your species. Is there anything that strikes you as unusual or interesting about the species' environment or interactions with other species? Does any of this information correspond with what you have noticed about the species' morphology or behaviour?
Here is an example:
Image from USDA USDA Forest Service
Hawk moth (Eumorpha typhon)
Examine the photograph. What do you notice?? Hmmm.... that's a pretty long tongue.
Try these keywords: hawk moth AND tongue
The first step in choosing keywords is to think about what information you need to search for. This seems obvious, and to a certain extent you are probably already doing it. But a more systematic approach will reward you.
Break the search down into the key concepts:
Too Many Results?
Too Few Results?
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