Biology: The Dynamics of Life

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Internet Biolab
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Unit 2: Ecology
Chapter 5: Biological Diversity and Conservation  
Internet Biolab
Researching Information on Exotic Pets
What would it be like to own a pet like a snake or a black-footed ferret? Use the Internet as a research tool to locate information on exotic pets. Consider any animal as exotic if it is not commonly domesticated and is not native to your area.
How can you use the Internet to gather information on keeping an exotic animal as a pet?

In this BioLab, you will:

  • Select one animal that is considered an exotic pet.
  • Use the Internet to collect and compare information from other students.
  • Conclude if the animal you have chosen would or would not make a good pet.
Access to the Internet

Data Sources

1. Print the data table and use it as a guide for the information to be researched.

2. Pick and exotic pet from the following list of choices: hedgehog, large cat such as tiger or panther, monkey, ape, and iguana.

3. Go to Data Sources under Preparation to find links that will provide you with information for this BioLab. Note: You are not limited to the pet suggestions provided. If a different organism appeals to you, research it instead.

4. Record your findings in the data table.

Post Your Data



Exotic pet choice

Scientific name

Natural habitat

Adult size

Dietary needs

Special health problems

Source of medical care, if needed

Safety issues for humans

Size of cage area needed


Social needs

Cost of purchase

Cost of maintaining (monthly estimate)

Care issues (high/
low maintenance)


Additional sources




*Required field

Analyze and Conclude
1. Defining Operationally What is meant by the term domesticated?

2. Interpret Data Does your data make it clear as to why the organism you selected is considered exotic or not? Explain.

3. Analyze Data Look at the findings posted by other students. Which of the animals researched would make a pet? Which would not be a wise choice? Why?

4. Thinking Critically What positive contribution might be made to the cause of conservation when keeping an exotic pet? Explain.

5. Thinking Critically How can keeping exotic pets be a negative influence on conservation biology efforts?

6. Analyze Data What are some reasons why zoos rather than individuals are better able to handle exotic animals?


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