Hint: the background information that will help you complete this activity is found in the videos and article.

In the lab, scientists have access to technology that allows them to take a closer look at the preserved specimens that have come back from the field.  Microscopes enable scientists to see greatly magnified detail that in turn helps them determine if the specimens belong to one species or several different species. To see how magnification makes a difference, take a look at the two images of the same collection of plant pollen. They are images captured with a scanning electron microscope, using a magnification of 500x. The images are of the same collection of pollen, however the second one is color-coded to allow the viewer to notice more easily the differences in the pollen grains.

Answer the following questions based on what you observe in the two photos:

a)    What features do you see in the magnified pollen grains that might help a scientist differentiate between the different pollen grains? List as many as you can.

b)   What kinds of questions occurred to you while looking at these highly magnified images?

c)    Did you find one of the images more helpful than the other? Why?

d)   If you could use a scanning electron microscope, what is one thing from nature that you would like to observe more closely? Why?