Pachyderm Web  

         Help Page 


Pachyderm Web is a HTML-based system for learning about biological diversity.  The following screens allow you to select a group to focus on.  The system will then guide you through a series of images and ask you questions based on each image.

"Pachyderm - because an elephant never forgets....."


Pachyderm has been tested with Internet Explorer 6.0.  It may or may not work with other browsers.  Javascript must be enabled for the program to work. If you get a "permission error" you may need to be more lax with your security level (Tools:Internet Options:Security) or add this site to your "trusted sites".  No cookies are used in the implementation of this program, and it does not attempt to write to your computer's hard drive.

Basic Navigation

There are several different types of pages:

1. Navigation Pages.  These pages supply links to other parts of the Pachyderm System.  They are organized on the taxonomic hierarchy.

2.  Browsing Pages.  These pages take you through the various files.  Each page has a picture and some taxonomic and biological information about the organism.  Browsing pages are either random (clicking on a button takes you to a randomly selected page) or sequential (you can move forward and backward through the entire database one page at a time.  If you choose the random option you may get duplicates of pages before you have seen all of the pages. There are a variety of browsing pages from a set including all of the pages to subsets with pages limited to only a single group.  Some of the browsing pages may contain links to appropriate taxonomy pages.

3.  Quiz Pages.  These pages present you with a picture and ask you a question.  Most of them simply ask you to select the correct taxon from a set of buttons.  In other quizzes, you must type in a response.  Like the browsing pages, quiz pages exist for different taxonomic levels.  In the quizzes, a correct answer will bring up a score box, and, a second or so later, a new question.  If you enter the wrong answer, the score box is displayed along with a page showing the correct answer.  The answer page is displayed for several seconds before the next question is brought up.  When you exit the quiz by selecting one of the links at the top of the page your score is erased.

4.  Taxonomy Pages.  These pages have a taxonomical hierarchy outlined on the left, with a place on the right to display images.  Moving over (but not clicking) the links on the left will bring up a picture of that organism on the right.




About the Taxonomy

The taxonomy used in Pachyderm is a conservative reflection of what is being used in general biology textbooks.  The goal is to help students learn the basics of taxonomy.  All you taxonomists out there itching to write in and say that this or that group has been renamed please hold your advice as we will get around to changing it when the consensus has reached the point that the textbooks WE use have changed.  Remember, taxonomy is constantly changing, and we are trying to give our students an exposure to the taxonomy that will help them as they search the literature.  That being said, if anyone sees an image which we've misidentified, we'd be happy to hear about it.









Pachyderm Web is an outgrowth of the Pachyderm Program, written by Dave McShaffrey.  All images copyrighted by Dave McShaffrey and Tanya Jarrell. The original Pachyderm software was supported by NSF Grant DUE- 9750553, and development of Pachyderm Web was supported by a TIG grant from Marietta College in turn supported by a US Department of Education Title III grant.

Marietta College Biology Department

Dave McShaffrey Homepage

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For best results, maximize your browser and set your screen resolution to 1280 x 1024 pixels or better.  Because some of the pictures are large, it may take a while for them to load over a slow internet connection.