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Isopod Behavior Lab

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Caroline Poole

on 21 September 2012

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Transcript of Isopod Behavior Lab

Isopod Behavior Lab ABSTRACT Background: Isopods are crustaceans, (the same family as shrimp). They have a segmented outer shell, (a shell with seven overlapping plates), that protects them. Because they are of aquatic descent, they have gills that are located by their legs where they obtain oxygen. They also must be kept moist at all times because of this. Isopods must be kept at a temperature range of 59 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. If they are kept any warmer or colder, they will die. In order to find an appropriate environment, they use their antennas that are located on top of their heads. They live in North America and some wet areas of Europe (i.e, Germany). Their habitat consists of damp places (under stones or bark) and they are very active during the night. They feed on fungi, dead plants or animals, depending on their climate. Introduction Purpose of Investigation: To analyze the behavior of Isopods in response to the temperature of their environment. The purpose was to find the most preferred environment temperature. Do isopods prefer warmer climates or cooler climates? Big Idea of Lab: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes. Hypothesis: If we place five bugs in each half of the chambers, with one side on a heating pad and the other on an ice pack, the bugs on the heating pad will move over to the cold pack because pill bugs prefer cooler temperatures to warmer temperatures. Methods We cut two cups in half, making them into one big chamber. Then, we separated the chamber with a divider and put five pill bugs on one side and five on the other. We placed one chamber on an ice pack and the other on a heating pad that was set to low. After letting the chambers heat and cool, we lifted the divider and let the pill bugs wander to their liking. Every thirty seconds, we counted the number of bugs in each chamber. We continued counting bugs for ten minutes. We tested whether the pill bug would prefer an environment with the temperature equivalent to the ground temperature in a Michigan summer or Michigan winter. Results Chamber with ice pack Chamber with heating pad 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr 0:00 0:30 1:00 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30 5:00 5:30 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 5 5 10:00 3 7 2 8 2 8 8 2 1 9 3 7 2 8 1 9 2 8 1 9 0 10 0 1 9 10 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 Observations after ten minutes, all were on the cold side of the chamber
isopods were sitting on top of each other.
isopod antennas were moving frantically as they searched
isopods moved to farthest part of cold side
0 isopods rolled up
upon entering cold side, isopods didn't move much Pillbugs, are common bugs found in North America. In the lab, we investigated what type of environment they prefer. Through a series of tests, we found that they prefer a cooler environment. Before conducting the experiment, our research lead us to believe that they would prefer cooler environments. Our research included other lab results, background information, and informal website pages. Discussion Because they are of aquatic descent, a cooler, wet environment is needed to function and breathe. Generally, in a wet environment, it is cooler. Because pill bugs need a wet environment, they adapted to be suited for cooler temperatures. Taxis, (when an animal moves toward or away from a stimulus), was displayed throughout the experiment. The bugs moved away from the warm environment, and they moved to the cooler side. Our data shows that pill bugs do prefer a cooler environment, supporting our hypothesis. Having a cool temperature is essential for a pill bug to live. Females are not able to reproduce unless the temperature is cool. Also, pill bugs cannot grow if the temperature is too warm. Without a cold environment, pill bugs will cease to exist. An adaptation to this, is that they can sense temperature in their antennas. Thus, they responded to the stimuli and found the cool environment quickly (within the first five minutes). Many improvements could have been made. We could have let the ice pack and the heating pad cool/warm the chambers for a longer period of time before placing the bugs in the chamber. This would have allowed for a greater change in temperature between the chambers. A quantitative measurement of the chambers would have allowed us to more fully show a preferred temperature. Further investigations could
be done to give more efficient results. Our experiment was conducted in a lab, however we want to know about how a pill bug would react if the temperature changed in their true habitat outside. Based on our results, if their habitat became too warm they would move. It would be neat to see if this is how they would actually react in their environment or if they stay and try to survive where they are and where their home and food source is. Also we wondered if they would have the opportunity to move to a colder environment. In an experiment conducted by another set of high school students, they too saw that the pill bugs preferred a cooler environment. They had three different chambers with the temperatures of 45, 79.5, and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The majority of the pill bugs stayed in the coolest temperature for the longest period of time. Works Cited Zimmerman, M. "Feeding and Care of Several Species of Terrestrial Isopods." Www.geneseo.edu. Www.geneseo.edu, 25 Mar. 2005. Web. 10 Sept. 2012. Tanner, James. "Isopod Experiment Results." Benton Zoologists. Benton Zoologists, 10 Nov. 2010. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://nashzoology.ning.com/forum/topics/isopod-experiment-results>. "ISOPODS." Fossweb. Foss, 30 July 2009. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://lhsfoss.org/fossweb/teachers/materials/plantanimal/isopods.html>. Warm side:
(1.25-5)^2 5 Cold Side: 8.75-5)^2 5 ( =2.8 2.8 2.8 + 2.8 = 5.6 Our results appeared to be accurate because it was less then the area. ( it was less then 3.84). It should be this way because we knew that there would be an uneven amount of bugs between the two chambers.
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